Wednesday, 17 August 2016

why you should never lose 'the intern' mentality


‘Just give it to the intern.’

‘The intern will do it, she’s over there somewhere…Think she’s got blonde hair?’

‘Just tell them you’re the intern and they’ll let you in’.

these are all real life comments that have been directed at me during my two year on/off stint interning in london PR houses and publications. this all sounds very devil wears prada, and may have left some characters crying and storming out the door at the lack of respect. but i simply continued packing bags, getting lunches, steaming gorgeous blouses worth thousands. quietly continuing with the job in hand, gaining respect from people as i didn't moan or complain about the work i was being given. 

and i like to think that i've transferred that intern mentality into my working life. 





i've been out of university for two years now, and working in a 'proper' job for about a year and half. when i say proper job, i mean i'm seen as something other than an intern, and i'm paid a proper wage that i can pay rent on, drive my car, have a phone, and have a few pennies left over for ridiculous dresses and wedged trainers. i have responsibilities these days, and my job spans a lot of different areas, meaning sometimes i have to lead meetings, offer my opinion on social media strategies, plan content for big name clients.

and other times, i pack boxes, get tea for clients, wait for deliveries and clean the downstairs meeting room. and i do it all with a big smile on my face, because...

you should never lose that intern mentality.

'the intern' title has been given a bad name of late, with no pay, long hours, hurtful comments and 'pointless' work being labelled with it. however, underneath the negative vibes and scaremongering articles, the intern is one of the most important job titles (i think) you can ever own. it teaches you how important it is to be helpful, positive, a source of endless creativity, a five star tea maker, an ear for those to gossip to, to have precise attention to detail, think of the little things...the intern is the position that can elevate your CV to the top of the pile, giving you a little bit of sparkle amongst a paper tower of graduates.

never underestimate the power of the intern.

at work, the happiest and most successful people are the ones who help with everything, no matter what their job role. they don't fob off responsibilities to others just because they can, they don't ignore the cries for help when someone needs something, and they certainly don't think anything is beneath them. the people in life i look up to in my career pick up the phone when it's needed, help pack boxes if there's a shortage of people, and take the time to ask questions + if there's anything else needed of them. i admire people who always want to help. i admire people who don't think they're better than the job role on their email signature.

millenials (blurgh) are given a lot of flack for being a generation of expectation. we are tarnished with a reputation of expecting everything to be given to us on a plate, and it's a frustrating label to wear in today's society where you can't even get an internship these days without experience somewhere else. the majority of us work hard to enhance our CVs, get involved with influential networking on social media, work extra hours to get that facetime with the big guys, and even offer our time for free just to have a reference on LinkedIn. We work hard, and we play hard. it's in our nature to try, so why should this change when we 'make it'?

the working world will always include a hierarchy, and this will always range from directors, managers, interns, cleaners... and your role in a company will always expect certain things. of course your responsibilities will increase with title and pay cheque. of course you won't always be able to help out with the little things, but why shouldn't you try when you can? it's so admirable to see directors mucking in when the going gets tough, and always feeling on a level with the more junior members of staff. this helps augment respect and how interns and junior staff members can communicate with you, raising any issues they do have and getting it sorted it out to ensure the office runs as smoothly as possible.

after all, anyone helping out to make that 9-5.30 a little bit sweeter will always be looked upon favorably, trust me. 

the intern mentality should be your hat you wear at work daily. make sure you smash your work, send those HILARIOUS emails to your work BFF with buzzfeed articles, and create a positive vibe in your workspace, but also ensure you're looking out for the little moments. the smaller, quieter moments where if you helped out for five minutes, everyone else can go home on time. open that door for the struggling postman. make a coffee for a tired director struggling with budgets. sort out the messy table of magazines so your manager can sit away from their laptop and have their lunch properly.

because one day, your intern mentality may make you CEO.

until next time xo 

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2 comments

  1. This was a really interesting post to read, thank you for sharing! Whilst I have never interned for a long period of time (more like volunteering), I do notice the people at work higher up than me who are willing to help me out, and I try my best to help those junior to me out if I can. After reading this post though, I feel inspired to do more to help others in the workplace!

    Suitcase and Sandals Blog XX

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  2. Love this post, so great to read when im on my first intership iw with a year of them ahead, its important to have a good intern mentality and positive vibes, especially when it gets stressful around you!

    Dana
    Fashion Dew // Bloglovin'

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