What Interns Wish You Would Start Doing

By Martha Brooke
22nd Jul 2016

What Interns Wish You Would Start Doing

The roles have been reversed. Not long ago, The Urban List published an article about the mistakes interns make but if you think us interns are the only ones that have things to learn, think again. Yes, we know we aren’t going to be bff’s with you on the first day and we know we won’t impress you so much that you promote us on the spot, but hey, we are human, we make mistakes and so do you. If you don’t want to end up on Horrible Bosses 3, read on. 

Have Stuff For Us To Do 

We are not mind readers or the next Stephan Hawkins and we hate being left staring blankly at our laptops. Work out substantial tasks for us to complete that won’t involve finishing your spreadsheets that you have been avoiding, whilst you flounce away for a ‘work lunch’. Provide us with valuable tasks and make us feel like we are actually contributing something to your team.

Don’t leave us out 

Yes, we appreciate that we have only been here for a number of weeks and that you all already have your office 'in jokes', but please, please, pleeease try and include us. Invite us out occasionally for office work drinks and hey, we don’t even mind assisting you on your quest to find vegan ice-cream that you suddenly started craving. You have no idea how awkward it is seeing your outside-of-work shenanigans, with the entire team, whilst we have a stalking sesh on your Insta, home alone. Cue the violins. 

Train Us And Let Us Learn 

How did you know that I love nothing more than licking stamps and sticking them on envelopes?! That would be great to put on my resume. Naaaaat. Find out what we enjoy doing, what we want to get out of our time here and set us goals and tasks to work around our chosen skill set. 

Let Us Sit With You At Lunch 

Don’t leave us sitting by the bins with our soggy, cheese sandwiches. Invite us to sit with you and the team and make us feel like one of the gang. This will give you a bit of ‘off time’ to get to know us personally without talking about work. Don’t be a Gretchen Weiner. 

Check Up On Us 

Don’t assume that we took in everything you said the first time. We are still learning. Ask us how we are getting on and this may give us the chance to ask the questions we thought were too dumb to ask in the first place. Don’t leave us sitting there awkwardly twiddling our thumbs. 

Be A Mentor To Us 

Strive to be someone who we can look up to and can approach. Don’t be someone who we go home and bitch about. Devil Wears Prada anyone? 

Ask Us For Our Opinion 

You have no idea how valuable it makes us feel. Who better to ask for a refreshing opinion than your fresh-faced intern? We will definitely tell our mum and dad about it too. 

Don’t Treat Us Like Your Personal Slave 

Coffee runs every hour on the hour isn’t our idea of fun, funnily enough. We know how much your one shot, soy, decaff, skimmed, chai latte is your saving grace, but we are human and have feelings. Next you’ll have us peeling your grapes. 

Learn Our Names 

It’s week eight and she is still calling me Marsha. I don’t have the balls to tell her it’s Martha. Maybe I should change my birth certificate…or you could treat me with a bit of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. You go Aretha!

Remember We Are Most Likely Working For Free 

Don’t expect us to be the first ones in and the last ones out with the cleaners. We have lives and homes to go to. Working for free certainly doesn’t fuel our nights out and Sunday pizza binges. We can cope with the 9 til 5 working day; Dolly has a point ya know. 

Give Us Credit Where It’s Due 

If we offer an idea that gets used, use our name. Not only is this valuable for our resume, it also gives us a purpose and motivation to do better. We have plenty more where they came from, don’t make us resent you.

Give Us Realistic Tasks

Remember the bit in Devil Wears Prada when Meryl Streep wants the unpublished Harry Potter book? Well fair play to Anne Hathaway for killing it, however wanting us to book you in for a lunchtime pedi when the salon isn’t even open? Dream on, girlfriend. 

Use Your Manners 

What is that P word that you can’t quite manage to say? It’s called PLEASE!  Oh and thank you wouldn’t go a miss either. Don’t bark orders at us or that complicated coffee might make its way onto your Louis Vuitton laptop case. Oh we can dream.

Let Us Interns Work Together In Harmony

Don’t play us off against each other like a Hunger Games instalment or an episode of Toddler’s in Tiara’s. We find it hard enough to stand out when updating spreadsheets all day. Don’t have favourites, treat us all equally and fairly because happy interns= no worry of jealousy and potential hair pulling. 

Make Sure That The Job Description Is Accurate And Realistic 

‘Assisting with corporate tasks’ shouldn’t translate to us deciding on which biscuit variety to drop off to your important meeting. 

Think this kind of thing doesn’t happen? These are all based on my own (or my friends) experience! But trust me when I say that The Urban List rock and none of the above info was based on my time here! 

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