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

by Jul 19, 2013, 5:13 am ET

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.

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.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.