Four Steps to Being the Best Intern
Steps inspired by The Intern
By: Tiffany Contreras
Everyone is in sheer panic the night before their internship. Will they like me? Will I fit in? What if I’m not what they’re looking for after all? Imagine being 75 years old, interning at a big fashion magazine in New York City and having a supervisor who doesn’t want to give you work? Imagine working incredibly hard through it all, impressing your supervisor and building one of the most special bonds you’ve ever formed? This is how Ben and Jules did it.
Step 1: How many times can you say you’ve really put everything you have into your application for an internship – or even put all of your heart and soul into your internship? If you can’t name at least one time, then take these pieces of advice from the best intern demonstrated in film: Robert De Niro’s character, Ben, in the movie The Intern.
I know we would all love to have Anne Hathaway (Jules) as our supervisor, but sometimes we’re not always that fortunate. This doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t do our best to impress our supervisors. If your supervisor isn’t giving you the amount or quality of work that you’d like, be obedient in what you’re given, but also ask for extra work; nobody complains about free help. Once you succeed in these duties, the next step will help you to continue to be the best intern – while still impressing your supervisor.
Step 2: What do you do when your hard work has been acknowledged and appreciated? KEEP DOING IT. Just because people have noticed your work and work ethic doesn’t mean you have a free pass to stop working hard. Ben didn’t stop working hard when Jules recognized his incredible work ethic and sincerity in what he did, even though he didn’t know too much about what he was doing. The important part is that you show your true concern, you put in the best effort you possibly can and you respect those around you. If your work goes unnoticed, even throughout the course of your internship, that doesn’t mean you didn’t work hard; that means you did something right because they felt comfortable enough not to have to guide you. All of these qualities will help you during your internship, and impress your supervisor.
Step 3: Life has its ways of throwing curves our way when we’re least expecting them, and that includes when we’re working hard. What can we do during these moments? Keep working. Jules experienced some trials when she was her busiest, but who did she rely on? Ben. Jules had work issues appear left and right, and she found out her husband had been cheating on her. Instead of crying all day, every day, she continued to work. This inspired Ben to continue his work when he felt his life was becoming overwhelming. The only way to get through these trials is to work through them.
Step 4: This step is one of the most important: don’t forget those who were by your side before your success. If we’re fortunate enough to have a mentor during our internship who truly looks after us and our work, it’s incredibly important to acknowledge and thank that person. Jules thanked Ben for all he had done, even when she didn’t want him around. She knew deep down that he cared and genuinely wanted to help. This is how we should demonstrate our hearts and sincerity to our supervisors, employers and friends.