Ask An Intern

Now that more kids than ever are taking summer internships, I'm curious; what do interns actually do?

In an ideal world, these much-sought-after internships would entail valuable work experience, rather than the reality of fetching coffee, arranging messengers and sending faxes.


Is it hard to get an internship?

The actual process of acquiring an internship has become one of the most common forms of nepotism, with parents relentlessly calling in favours from friends (I must admit to abusing a few connections myself), while hard-working, intelligent and deserving students are frequently turned away so that some eminent person's daughter can have the job.


Have you had to do anything difficult or demeaning?

I... had to run around NY to find hand-towels for my boss and fetch the umbrella he had left at a restaurant the night before, and they wouldn't even pay my subway fare!


But, surely, you must have an example of a positive intern experience?

[M]y best friend, Tess, is working at Vogue and she told me one of the most important things she l learnt this summer was how to walk in heels. However, she's not complaining, adding that it's fun to get dressed up for work every morning. And she has discovered the office secret: keeping a pair of flats under your desk. Manolos are only necessary when the boss is around.


And that's where we're gonna end it. If you want to hear more about the plight of the poor intern, please read the whole column from which these answers came. It was written by champion of the underclass, uh, Bee Shaffer.

New York notebook [Telegraph]