Sometimes life as an Intern is hard.

However, as we approach Thanksgiving it seems like a good time to write down a few ideas on why interns – a growing percentage of the
workforce – could be thankful for as they dutifully fulfill their intern

From the intern perspective (and with tongue firmly in cheek) YouTern presents…

50 Reasons to Be Inspired as an Intern


  1. Not needing an excuse to watch “The World’s Most Interesting Intern” videos
  2. Filling out your fantasy football team while doing “marketing research”
  3. Watching the boss do a spit-take as he sees you’ve used “f^*k” in a blog
  4. Watching the clown-intern walk down the hallway just behind the boss, doing a perfect impression of the boss
  5. Watching the Boomers give you the “I-don’t-get-it” look when you assume a martial arts pose and say “Qwid Pro Qwoh Motha F…”

    Respect and Recognition

  6. Where everyone knows your name… (“Hey, Intern!”)
  7. The opportunity to surpass “Hey, Intern” with instant name recognition (if you’re Monica Lewinsky or Stephanie Birkitt)
  8. Celebrity status when leadership introduces the interns at the quarterly staff meeting (and others offer suck-up applause)
  9. Genuine rock star status when your office mates fall in love with games on your iPhone (which they may have never seen before)
  10. Becoming the default office IT guy; “Hey, Intern… get in here, you ‘get’ all this stuff!”

    Managing Up

  11. Learning early in your career how to manage up, because your intern-boss is a doof
  12. Your teaching skills are accelerated because you need to teach the “more experienced” staff Microsoft Office basics (or the computer in
  13. Coming up with the best idea in a brainstorming session (mentor taking full credit)
  14. Witnessing effective corporate brown-nosing by other interns (laughing at bad jokes, volunteering for coffee runs, and much more)
  15. Keeping your composure when the $150 per hour consultant gives a 2-hour “Introduction to Social Media” presentation (that you would have
    done in 30 minutes for a burger ‘n fries)

    Reverse Mentorship

  16. Explaining terms like “Web 2.0”, “Freemium”, Tweeps” and “Hashtag” with a straight face
  17. Fake laughing every time your Boomer co-worker from the 60’s cracks up at the term “Hashtag”
  18. Explaining “h-t-t-p-colon-backslash-no, backslash-another backslash, yes, one more…”
  19. Googling “The Jetson’s” to find out why the old folks keep saying Skype is “…just like the Jetson’s”
  20. “Yes, my friends on Facebook are real friends, and yes, I have 1,512 of them”

    Perks, Compensation and Benefits

  21. Getting your coffee, while getting their coffee
  22. For the third time this week, “forgetting” to give change back to the coffee buyer (gas money!)
  23. After company meetings are over, everyone tells you to take home the leftover pizza, wings & soda (free food!)
  24. A hot date (I mean, um, business lunch) with the other hot girl/guy intern who doesn’t know the city too well
  25. Guilt-ridden for the lack of pay, the office manager urges you to take pens, a notebook, stapler and printer paper as compensation (free
    back to school supplies!)
  26. Internship comes with a workout (hiking to the office from the farthest possible parking spot)
  27. You get an extra long lunch every day (because your boss and everyone else is “at a meeting”)
  28. You enjoy your Ramen as your boss walks in from that $100 Sushi and Saki lunch “meeting”
  29. Mid-day naps are tolerated because the “virtual office” (aka your dorm room) comes with a bed
  30. Invoking sarcasm when you explain to your mentor that you assumed the work was as “virtual” as the paycheck, so… no, the work is not done

    Diversity and Tolerance

  31. Repeat after me: “No, the tattoo didn’t hurt”
  32. Repeat after me: “The piercing, well, I don’t remember…”
  33. Coming up with a politically correct answer to “Why do you all think you’re entitled?”
  34. The constant reminder of how “lucky” you are because the Boomers in your office “didn’t have all this technology – we had to work!”
  35. Smiling when asked: “You closed that deal by… texting??”

    Family and Friends

  36. Explaining to your parents that you’ve taken your hard earned degree, and are working – for free
  37. Explaining to your parents that you’ve taken your hard earned degree, and are working in something called “Social Media” – for free
  38. Making fun of your friends who are flipping burgers and delivering pizzas, while you work for a “real company” – for free
  39. Explaining to your grandparents that your online friends are not called “TwitterFaces”
  40. Explaining the benefits of a long-term unpaid internship to your landlord, who still doesn’t tolerate unpaid rent

    Soft Skills

  41. Working without supervision, because your “mentor” is late (again) or, if virtual, because your “mentor” forgot you existed (again)
  42. Learning how to overcome writers block after being asked to blog about your experience
  43. Learning time management (when your boss gives you his “next day” project 15 minutes before you leave for the day)
  44. Learning stress management (when you play Kinect until 2AM – and still need to get your intern assignment done)
  45. Learning vintage technology, and saving minutes on your cell phone, by using the office landline

    Motivation and Passion

  46. Development of a fallback career (if your fallback is Admin or a Domestic God/Goddess, as you have certainly learned to take care of and
    clean up after others)
  47. Motivation to buy a reliable car (the free bus and train passes are cool, until you find yourself an hour late for work every day)
  48. Having something to live for as you plot the death of the “intern broker” that took $7,000, then sent you to Shanghai for 10 weeks
  49. School credit! (that costs you up to $1,000 per credit)
  50. They’re going to hire you after these 10 hell weeks are over… right?

Please let us know what we missed via Twitter: @YouTern

Happy Thanksgiving!

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