Got Intern Ennui? Buck Up, Half the Summer’s Over

Welcome to the halfway point of summer. Are you tired of your intern yet?

If there’s a survey on that, I haven’t seen it, though there’s a survey about almost everything else. But from my own experience, this is about the time my colleagues would confront me with, “How much longer before this kid goes back to school?”

(I managed our intern program, but, corporate life being what it is, played no part in hiring the interns, which, I am legally bound to say, we paid.)

What reminded me of that is this video, which has absolutely nothing to do with student internships, other than that the female lead in this little novella is so very much like an intern I knew.

You’re Not Smarter Than An Intern

Now that you know the vid is all about staffing, let’s get back to interns. InternMatch did an infographic, which explains a lot about your intern ennui. For one thing, 40 percent of your interns think they’re smarter than you. For another, 27 percent insist they haven’t learned a thing at work.

Now would be a good time to see who hired these kids. And then do what the boss sitting under the Ozzie Newsome jersey did.

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Oh, all right, that was cruel. Who fires interns? You put them to work filing, sorting, photocopying, and doing all those mindless chores you don’t want to do. Assuming you are paying them. If they’re working for free they can’t do any productive work. That’s the law. Really. A federal judge just made that point pretty clearly.

As more than commentator has pointed out, college students seek internships to develop skills, discover career interests, and exercise their creativity and productivity. Except by law, if they’re working for free, they’re not supposed to have anything to show at the end of the internship.

What’s more, they have to be more of a hindrance than a help.

At least that part is easy.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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