Here at The W1nners’ Club, we recognise that we have a responsibility.
Our responsibility is not just to provide incorrect and quite frankly downright litigious advice on how to survive life in the workplace, we also have a responsibility to nurture future generations to ensure that offices the world over are filled with ill-informed employees that have a suspect grasp of business protocol.
As an intern, your first tentative steps into working life will provide many obstacles that need to be navigated. The main thing to remember is – this ain’t school, or sixth form college or even Uni for that matter. If you thought that your teachers were strict, having a boss will be such a wake up call that some of you may not survive more than a couple of department meetings. Whilst nobody will try to flush your head down the toilet, steal your lunch money or give you a wedgie; there will be no shortage of sadistic colleagues whose sole aim will be to make sure that your working life is as unpleasant as it could possibly be.
Here is a list of things to look out for when you start an internship.
Good luck – you’ll most definitely need it!
1. No one cares what you think
The main difference between work and university is that no one gives two hoots about how you think the department could be run better. You’re not there to have ideas as was expected of you in lectures, you’re there to make the tea – remember that!
2. The work you do is of very little importance
Just because you are given spreadsheets full of customers that haven’t paid their outstanding invoices to chase, this doesn’t mean that you have ingratiated yourself into the company infrastructure. This is the job that everyone hates. The last person to do this job was paid £50,000 a year and they left without having another job to go to – that’s how unpleasant the job actually is!
3. Avoid taking responsibility for anything
The reason for this is that if anything goes wrong, you can bet your bottom dollar that your salaried colleagues will use the, ‘It were the intern wot done it’ excuse as if you are an incontinent kitten in need of litter training. Just keep your head down and focus on making the tea and restocking the photocopier with sheets of A4 paper.
4. Nobody will notice the work you do
Seriously – who notices that the photocopier has just been restocked with paper or toner? The life of an intern is a thankless one – so get used to it!
5. Your placement will more than likely have nothing to do with your career of choice
We know that you majored in Art History and Egyptology at University, but unfortunately there aren’t that many ancient Egyptian Pharaoh’s tombs getting discovered these days. You may even have gone to a few lectures and managed to scrape a 2:2 by the skin of your teeth. The problem is that Watkins & Byrne Cardboard Merchants (est. 1974) probably don’t have any vacancies that require someone to know what the contents of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber was – sorry!
6. You won’t be asked to come back
The reason for this is that whilst you might be able to replenish the toner cartridge in a photocopier like a boss after your internship, you didn’t actually cost anything. We’ve calculated that if you were paid to replace toner cartridges on a pay-per-cartridge basis, by rights you should be earning as much as one of the directors.
7. It may put you off your entrepreneurial ambitions
This isn’t quite how you imagined things would be is it? As you can tell, running your own business has less to do with great ideas and expansive thinking, but a lot more to do with sacking people for minor indiscretions and terrorising the staff that are left – don’t let that put you off though…….
8. It’ll cost you
Not content with getting into £60k of debt at University? An internship will put you in the same league as Greece when it comes to insolvency. There’s accommodation to consider for a start and given the fact that most major firms have a plush head office in London, you’ll need to be earning a doctor’s salary just to be able to afford your daily tube fare.
9. Your CV will end up a random collage of uselessness
Making the tea, replacing toner cartridges, franking mail – the only thing you’ll be qualified for after an internship is another internship!
10. There ain’t that many of ‘em out there
Fear not, because the chances are you won’t get accepted for an internship anyway due to the excessive competition at all the most sought after companies. Think of all the money you’ll save living with your parents – not to mention all the free time you’ll have to re-read your dog-eared, ‘brief history of the Pharaohs’ university textbooks.