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Today is a gloomy day in the Shuttle Fortress. The Founder is listless and the trusty Straight Line Guy (we’ll come to him another day) has his chin in his chest. It’s temporary of course, but it’s a natural if brief period of melancholy because today we lost one of our number.

Yep, we’re a man down and it’s not like we didn’t see it coming. In fact, we knew from day one, that September 22st, 2016 would be the final episode in the three-month story that was The Intern.

The Intern was introduced to us by the lovely Bella Cranmore of Professionals UK who we met through our participation in the Entrepreneurial Sparks programme. Straight Line Guy sifted through a few people who Bella thought may be a fit, and he honed in on Hugo. Hugo, a French Masters student was looking to join an early-stage business where he could improve his spoken and written Business-English and after a couple of Skype calls and emails, an agreement was reached.

Hugo joined us with a dual remit. The first was to provide some deep-dive research into our potential overseas market opportunities and to make those into a compelling business case for investment of time and money.  The second element, was to design, build and deliver an in-bound marketing campaign in cahoots with Straight Line Guy, concentrating firstly on the Bridging and Short-Term Lending area.

But that’s the dry stuff, it doesn’t really matter a jot that he delivered.  (and boy, for the record, did he deliver!). That’s not what we’ll miss.

We’ll miss his relentless drive, his quiet Gallic charm and humour and his willingness to learn.  Yeah, we actually like him. A lot. Just a week ago, Bella came to film a testimonial and the mutual respect was tangible and as much credit that we give to Hugo, we’re also going to pat ourselves on the back.

We’ve seen interns come and go in other businesses and we learned the lessons that were being played out in front of us.  The biggest one of all was that interns aren’t just cheap (damn near free, actually) resource who you throw a phone script at and say, get selling.   It doesn’t work like that.

We interviewed properly and invested time in working with Hugo to make sure he understood our offering, our product, our customers and what we wanted from him.  We gave him a voice on our team calls with meaningful deliverables and included him in everything we did. He quickly became part of what we are and who we’re trying to be.

So, back to the south of France he goes to complete his studies, with our thanks, our respect and if we have our way, he’ll be back.

Bientôt, Hugo.

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