To My Future Intern

Hi, future intern! Welcome to your first day of your imaginary internship with me as your supervisor. Like every other American alumnas, I previously had approximately 10.75 internships in my four years in college, so I know the struggles that interns of the past have faced.

However, I can assure you that during your time with me, you won’t be held to ridiculously high or low expectations- or given up on approximately 3 weeks into your internship training.

Here’s what’s to be expected:

First things first, I will never ever ask you to bring me coffee.

I mean, who even does that anymore?! No idea why it was ever considered a traditional duty of any intern, but during your time here, if anything I will be the one that brings YOU coffee, or we’ll go together. I know how broke I was in college, and how after many late nights, I could’ve used a free coffee at work the next morning. I make a LOT more money than you as an intern do, and don’t worry, the days of unpaid internships are luckily left behind in my past, so you will at least have an income here. I promise to respect you as a young professional with high goals and ambitions, and not to treat you as people used to treat college students in the past: unworthy or incapable of ‘real’ work, required to work miserable hours, and withheld payment from because of their age/lack of experience.

I swear to you (and the intern gods) that I will not give you the traditional sh!tty intern tasks.

You’re here to work and to learn how to become a better professional and to improve on your skills and work towards your goals. How do I expect you to do that if I give you simple tasks that I can do myself?

I know that no intern would love to type up a sheet of notes that I took handwritten at a conference, I mean, how lazy would that make me? Why did any manager used to send things they needed printed to the intern to print? Isn’t there a print button on their computer, too?

Don’t worry, intern, I got your back. Even though you’re still a student and I’m the “accomplished professional,” I will respect your time and effort as much as I respect my own. You won’t have to worry about doing, for a lack of better words, stupid and wasteful tasks during your time here.

I don’t believe in the mentality that interns must arrive to work before everyone else or leave after everyone else in order to impress their supervisor-- that’s an attitude that is clearly wrong and, frankly, not true for the newer generations.

Why should I expect you to give up other commitments in the evenings or weekends to stay at work and perform tasks that don’t have a mandatory, tight deadline? Don’t worry, intern, I don’t expect you to work past your assigned working hours, or be the first one in the office in the morning. My other colleagues and I are working full time, yes, but most of us also do not have exams to prepare for, extracurricular club meetings to attend, or even just homework that is due the next day. I don’t expect you to give up all of the other aspects of your life for this internship. That is just unfair to you, and it hurts your professional results in the end if you were to become burnt-out.

Need a day off to attend a conference at your school? No problem. Need to work from home because you’re sick and have a doctors appointment in the middle of the day? You got it. Just need one day off because you’re overwhelmed with school work and need to catch up? Just tell me. I’m not here to make your life more difficult and stressful, but, rather, the opposite. I want you to both feel and be at your best in all aspects of your life, not just during your internship with me.

No matter my schedule, I will make time to meet with you at least once a week to catch up and review our goals that we set together.

In the past, I hated supervisors who acted as though I seemingly did not exist after the first few days or weeks of the internship. I promise to answer every email you send me in a timely manner, and not just ignore them, even if the content seems unnecessary.

You are my intern, so I expect you to have questions and need clarification. The way I see it,you are not asking to be annoying, but rather, to be able to learn more and handle more things on your own. The last thing I want is for you to be scared to talk to me or ask me or anyone else questions. That does not meet the healthy environment that we like to foster here within our company.

I will understand that you are still a college student, and whether you are very experienced or not, I will not hold you to the expectations that I would hold against an MBA candidate or a professional with 10+ years of working experience.

As I mentioned before, I know that you are here to learn, and that your quality of work will not be the same as my colleagues who have been in the business for much longer than you have. It’s ok. Even if your work doesn’t meet my expectations the first time around, I will take the time to meet with you and discuss ways to improve its quality, not leave you to blindly attempt to figure out how to meet my demands.

Yes, I am your supervisor, but I am also a mentor to you. I won’t give up on you or your potential here, and failing the first attempts at projects is completely normal, not something to be ashamed of.

So, future intern, that’s the just of what it will be like to work with me as your supervisor. At my company, I promise you that we won’t waste your time, and that we will put even more effort into you than you might put into us, and that’s ok. I want the best for you and your future. Now, let’s get to work!

 

(Photo Credits: Cover,1, 2, 3, 4, 5)