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The Top 10 WTF Moments You Can Expect as an Intern

Posted on September 26, 2012 and read 5,150 times

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JessicaMori The Top 10 WTF Moments You Can Expect as an Intern Jessica Mori, Copywriter
Saint Bernadine Mission Communications
SheSays
Contributor

I am often approached by students and career-confused hopefuls who are eager to get their foot into the slamming door that is Advertising. That is, until they learn the truth. It’s not just one big beer garden full of skinny jeans and cufflinks. Well, not all the time…

So I’ve compiled a top ten list of things you can expect as an intern and how to cope, sanity-intact.

    1. There’s no time to explain. Once upon a time, an internship was a time of learning and being led by the hand. Today, most shops take a just-do-it approach to showing you the ropes, and there’s little time for Q+A. With that in mind, it’s important to do your homework, watch carefully and whatever you do, don’t cry.
    2. Oh, I didn’t see that on the brief… Briefs change. Get used to it. It may not make sense, or be the right thing strategically, but the sooner you can think up a viable solution, the better off you’ll be. Remember that assassin movie with the great line, “adapt or die?” Do that.
    3. That’s not my name, it’s J— Don’t expect anybody to care until you’ve made them care. Interns come and go, and for all these people know, you’re just doing it because your school program told you so. Make an impact and prove your worth right from the gate.
    4. Everybody hates you. No, they don’t. It just looks that way because they’re busy. The best thing you can do is make yourself busy too. Putting in the same hard work while not earning a dime puts you on their playing field, or at least, a little closer to the green.
    5. There’s a kitchen party and you’re the only one invited. This part is particularly cruel when spoiled Tupperware is involved. Best advice? Plug your nose.
    6. Everything is due yesterday. Remember the thing about everybody being busy? Well, you just got busier. Just breathe, and make lists. If you’re still staring at a blank page, move on to the next task and come back to it. Little bits of progress are better than one big clump of procrastination.
    7. Everybody still hates you… This feeling will eventually go away, I promise. In the meantime, go clean the kitchen.
    8. You said what in that meeting? Do not look at every single meeting as your time to shine. Even if you think you can outwit your boss, don’t ever do it in front of his or her client. Think before you speak and use those sweaty palms to take notes.
    9. Good morning and Goodnight. Some see the late hours as a means to a podium. Award-winning work often requires more time, which is one luxury we don’t have during the typical 9 to 5. But as soon as the work is done, and your team is happy, run for the hills.
    10. It was great having you, Pete? Even after all the dishes, the late hours, and STILL not remembering your name, you might not get the gig. Sometimes it’s a budget thing and more often, it’s a timing thing. Hopefully you left the internship with a good book, and now it’s your job to make it great.




  • http://twitter.com/julietetlours Julieta Lucca

    Regarding point n. 5. I have NEVER worked for free or cleaned kitchens in agencies, nor make coffee for an entire floor. It’s not the kind of job I signed up for when I paid for a £10k advertising degree course in London. Not because I was lucky, but because I have a bit of self-respect and that’s the first thing interns should learn about work experiences. You are there to learn and work hard and you are just as important as everyone else. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Pope/545171509 Patrick Pope

    You forgot ball-busting/inside jokes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/esther.o.batycki Esther Batycki

    Start doing this kind of work even before you start school, once you’re done school you shouldn’t have to :P

  • http://twitter.com/forbeswildfoods Forbes Wild Foods

    Internships are for companies who do not see value in a diverse and well compensated staff and who wish to weed socially economic disadvantaged people out of their selection pool. They should not be legal. Companies who rely on internships do so at the expense of the society they exist within.

  • http://twitter.com/strewnAboot strewnAboot

    Internships are for companies who do not see value in a diverse and well compensated staff and who wish to weed socially economic disadvantaged people out of their selection pool. They should not be legal. Companies who rely on internships do so at the expense of the society they exist within.

  • http://twitter.com/dkurien Denny Kurien

    Seriously ?!  There’s gotta be a better system than this.  Agencies who treat their interns like s#it are most probably old dinosaurs who are still stuck in the Mad Men era.  Pretty soon, these kids who are straight out of school won’t need ‘agencies’ to intern at, because they’re too busy setting up their own shop and going after their own clients.  Welcome to the age of the freelancer!

    Art-Director.ca


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