For one of the first jobs I ever had, my boss paid me in time. I earned one hour of work for every hour I worked. Yes, it’s pretty embarrassing to admit that I fell for that. Maybe a little bit more embarrassing to admit since I was self-employed at the time. So why even bring it up? Because today we’re talking about people who do work for free, or “interns,” as they’re called.
Basically, the concept of an intern works like this: imagine a sponge, but now imagine that it's human-size and human-shaped, and not as spongy, and it’s under a faucet that’s pouring “valuable professional experience” instead of water, and the faucet’s invisible, and also it's in an office doing menial work, possibly for college credit. Now take anything still sponge-related in your mental picture and throw it away. There you go; that's how interns work!
Seems simple enough, right? Well, hold on! There's a lot more to it than that. Interns, much like the real employees they try to imitate, are complicated, and you shouldn't take any into your company until you know a little bit more about the concept. That’s why we here at the Sean Adams University of Business Development Management Leadership have compiled a list of frequently asked intern questions, so that you fully understand their vital-ish role in your business's success:
Why are they called “interns”?
It’s simple: an intern does whatever his boss tells him to do, kind of like the pieces in a board game do whatever the dice tells them to do. And how do you play board games? In turns. So when they were deciding what to call interns, they just put those two words together, and then replaced the u with an e, so it’d look less German.
What kinds of projects can I give to my interns?
Seriously, you can make your interns do WHATEVER you want, as long as you phrase it right! Want to send an intern to go get coffee? Call it “an investigation into commerce and employee motivation.” Need someone to file some paperwork? Call it “diving headfirst into today’s alphabetized workplace.” Want someone to make you some lunch? Call it “hands-on training in advanced executive sustainability and satisfaction measures.”
I’m considering a career in online education. What do you look for in an intern at Sean U?
At Sean U we look for people who possess any or all of the following: a love of teaching; a hunger for success; a desire to teach passionately; a need to love hungrily; a knowledge of how to start bar fights; fluency in Morse code and ability to communicate with it through a series of blinks; generosity with money (will also accept forgetfulness with wallet); a knowledge of how to win bar fights; the ability to write blue grass songs on the spot; more fingers than most people (but not so many where it’s super noticeable); a good low post game; a knowledge of how to talk about bar fights without sounding like that guy who’s always talking about bar fights; the equipment, ingredients, and skills necessary to carry out a successful omelet bar; a true passion for learning.
I’m training to be a sailor. What kind of internship should I get?
You need to find yourself a ship internship. Some fun language trivia: “ship internship” is an example of a palindrome!
Are you sure that’s a palindrome?
But isn’t a palindrome something that’s the same backwards as it is forwards?
Exactly. It starts with “ship” and ends with “ship.” Bam. Palindrome.
Yeah, but “ship internship” backwards is “pihsnretni pihs.”
Oops. It looks like you dropped something on your keyboard.
Well, anyway, there you have it: pretty much everything you need to know about interns! Now, if you're interested, please expound upon which of the above qualities that you possess that would make you an excellent summer intern at Sean University. (NOTE: internship will be completed virtually; no college credit given; but on the plus side, you really won't have to do anything at all.)