As vacation beckons, so does the dreaded question, “So, what are you doing this summer?” Most have probably figured out that the success or failure of the entire season rests on one’s ability to not only secure an internship, but then navigate the space of ‘internshipity.’ I myself have worked at a catalog record company and a live music venue, which have allowed me to perfect the art of faux work productivity. Here are a few tips that will help you survive the intense boredom that your summer gig is likely to bring, or at least help you make it to happy hour at the end of each day.
1. Dress like a normal person.
No one wants to be the kid who shows up on his first day in the advertising mailroom in a suit. You don’t look cool or mature, you look like an asshole. If the CEO looks more relaxed than you, re-evaluate your outfit.
2. Practice looking at a computer screen intently.
You’re probably not going to be working; you don’t even have work to do, it’s an internship. This means that you’re going to be on the internet perusing your hipster blog or checking Facebook. However, in that heart-stopping instant when someone walks past your area, you are going to need to look like you’re doing something. Squint your eyes, lean closer to the screen, type aimlessly, and mouth the words that you are pretending to read, remembering to always look back at the screen with an expression of curiosity.
3. Act like you know what you’re taking about.
As stated above, it’s an internship and if you’re enthusiastic about it, more power to you. However most likely, you won’t want to be there and will be not an expert on anything that has to do with your workplace. Unfortunately, someone will talk to you about what you are studying and how it applies to the company. Take this as an opportunity to practice vocabulary and phrases that sound impressive, but don’t actually mean anything. For instance, “I’m an English student working at a record company because I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of fusing my liberal arts education with the re-production of 60’s pop music.” Inquisitive employees will never ask you a question again.
Image from Flickr