You just never know.
For anyone working in business these days, that 22-year-old who just walked in the door and handed you a resume built using the default template in Microsoft Word, or the guy who looks and talks like he is still 13 and has the glasses to prove it could be the smartest person you'll ever meet. In fact, your next intern could be the next Bill Gates (or Elon Musk...or Jeff Bezos).
As one report noted, Bill Gates worked as an intern in Congress, delivering documents to the House floor and (as is true of most internships) did other odd jobs. In a book that talks about Gates as an up and coming entrepreneur, we learn that Gates figured he would rather work in business at the time (and maybe even had the spark of an idea to computerize those documents).
I've worked with a few interns as someone who mentors students in a college setting. Last summer, a college student helped me with fact-checking on Inc. articles and looked for typos. She went on to land a nice job as a marketing rep. For two years, my nephew worked as my intern, and now wants to pursue a degree in Journalism.
What I've learned is that you never know the potential of someone who is just out of college or still earning an internship credit. It's hard to know if someone who has literally no experience in business will suddenly come up with a brilliant idea or gravitate to the entrepreneurial life. And that's why it's important to keep your channels open.
Will this person be a carbon copy of someone famous? Not at all. However, if a brilliant mind or creative genius does apply, be ready to look for skills that might be a combination--someone with the marketing savvy of Steve Jobs, the technical vision of Gates, and the business acumen of Bezos. And, this person might not be from an ivy league school. Steve Jobs went to Reed College. If someone applies to be an intern from your local university, don't dismiss it out of hand.
In fact, pay attention when someone arrives without the perfect pedigree. What you're looking for is not always a perfect GPA or the best school. You want insight over knowledge when it comes to an intern, a perspective that is fresh and new not established and tired, a gut-level sense for business that goes beyond training.
In my experience, the best interns are born with a keen sense for what will work in business (and in life) and have an unusual ability to see things from a different point of view, one that might not always align with your business objectives at first glance.
Yet, that Bill Gates or Elon Musk clone might suggest an idea for you that could become a brilliant new product idea. It could change the entire course of your current role of your company. My advice? Keep the door wide open.