Don’t take job-search tips from Brennan and Dale in Stepbrothers.
1 & 2. Brennan Huff and Dale Doback’s job interview (Stepbrothers, 2008)
Brennan and Dale (Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly) walk into their interview in tuxedos, mispronounce their interviewer’s name and come completely, yet hilariously, unprepared.
Lessons: Prepare for your interview. Go beyond just looking at a company’s website. Talk to former interns, get their advice and put your interview into context. Research industry news and articles relating to the company. Come prepared with ideas or potential projects you could work on during your internship.
Candidates who go beyond simple research of the company tend to stand out among the Brennans and Dales.
3. Andy Sachs’ first day at Runway (The Devil Wears Prada, 2006)
On her first day at the fictional magazine Runway, Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) comes into the office dressed inappropriately and unprepared for work. She even insults her nightmare of a boss (Meryl Streep).
Lessons: Think of your first day on the job as equivalent to an interview. Getting hired for an internship isn’t the end — it’s the beginning. You still have to prove yourself as an intern.
If you don’t know the office dress code, always err on the side of business casual or business. It’s better to look too professional than to look like you’re not taking your job seriously.
Also, you can’t control who your boss or manager is; you can only control your own actions and attitude. If you don’t like your boss, deal with it! You’re an intern, they’re not. You’re not always going to work with people you get along with; that’s life.
4. Peter Gibbons’ post-hypnosis behavior (Office Space, 1999)
After his therapist hypnotizes him, Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), a disgruntled office worker, quits trying. He removes everything from his office he finds annoying, ignores his boss and rarely even comes into work.
Lessons: Don’t forget why you’re there. Internships are amazing opportunities to learn from experts and develop skills you won’t learn in the classroom. Take advantage of it. Stay busy and focused. Don’t get caught playing tetris at your desk; it may have worked for Peter, but it probably won’t work for you.
5. Michael Scott, office gossip (The Office, Season 6, Ep. 1, 2009)
In this episode of The Office, Michael Scott (Steve Carell), regional manager of Dunder Mifflin, spreads gossip around the office in hopes of fitting in with his co-workers.
Lessons: Know your place as an intern. Get to know your co-workers and by all means form friendships in the office. But while full-time co-workers might gossip or talk about people behind their backs, remember that interns are held to a different standard. Respect everyone in the workplace.
6. Jerry Maguire says farewell (Jerry Maguire, 1996)
In his infamous farewell scene, Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) gets fired from his job and leaves the office with a bang. He makes a scene, yells at his boss and begs his colleagues to join his new company.
Lessons: Always leave your internship on a positive note. It doesn’t matter if you want a job there in the future or not. You never know who might be able to help you down the road. Don’t go all Jerry Maguire on your boss.
Wrap up any loose ends. Hand over contacts and complete all projects before you leave. There’s nothing worse than an angry boss calling you in the middle of class once you’re back at school.
Don’t lose touch. Check back in with your internship coordinator and colleagues throughout the semester. Keep a strong relationship so that when you are ready to ask for a recommendation or even a job interview, you won’t be calling out of the blue.
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