You might have heard of the latest production by Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, aptly called, The Internship.  In this flick, the two actors find themselves without jobs or direction; they choose to apply for the internship program at Google, and gain much more than work experience.  Amidst the laughs, did you notice a few lessons to take with you?

1.      You Never Know Who You’re Talking To

Making assumptions about someone might be detrimental to your networking process.  Someone’s sitting alone at the dinner table?  Join them!  Someone needs a partner in a project?  Combine forces!  Be open to new people, new ideas, and new experiences.  You might be surprised what you learn about others – and about yourself.

2.      Think Sustainability

When working on a project at your internship, it’s always best to have a balance of the small details with the bigger picture.  Is what you’re working on going to last after you are gone?  Since internships are time-sensitive experiences, are your ideas transferable to the next intern? Or to your supervisor?  Or can you take the projects with you to your next internship site?  The team in The Internship kept this in mind, helping a growing company with tons of expansion potential, instead of a one-time-only venture.

3.      Losing The Battle But Winning The War

The Internship teams are given various assignments to compete against one another for the grand prize, a full-time job at Google.  It’s immediately obvious that Vaughn and Owen’s team is not gelling, and the likelihood of winning a challenge is slim.  So, instead of working on one given challenge, they take a night off and work on their team’s moral and cohesiveness.  They bond and come to understand each other better.  We learn here that always being #1 means nothing if you’re not in it for the right reasons.  So, check yourself: even if you don’t succeed at a task, did you gain something from it?  Did you learn something about yourself? About others?  About both your strengths and weaknesses?  Well, that’s a win in my book!

4.      Be Your Airport Friend

During the intern selection process, the committee says something that really moved me: “If you are stuck in an airport for 6 hours, who would you want to be sitting next to?” Whoever it is, be that person! Want to be fun and making jokes the whole time?  Or interesting and in deep conversation?  Or quiet, maybe reading a book?  How about nice, offering your muffin or chips?  Whoever it is, surround yourself with those people and align your own values to match.

5.      Find Your “Googliness”

The pinnacle concept addressed in this movie is one that everyone should know.  Google wants employees who have a certain “Googliness.”  It’s your own “Tom-ness” or “Karen-ness”. What makes you stand out?  What makes you different from everyone around you?  What is it about you that would make me want you on my team?  Emphasize those qualities!  Let them shine!

One Response to Lessons from The Internship

  1. These are some great points. I’ve been wanting to go see that movie and it’s great that actually information can be taken away from it as well as a few good laughs. Great article.