How To 'Treat' Your Interns


It's coming up to intern time!

Here's something on the subject from Cityboy.

Investment banks are readying themselves for the annual invasion of summer interns - those fresh-faced, eager-to-please, ever-hopeful, would-be Masters of the Universe.

When I worked in the markets, we dreaded this time of year. These (mostly) pointless buffoons would be foisted upon unsuspecting teams, and we would be expected to keep them amused (and 'busy') while trying to do a proper day's work ourselves (or at least appear to be). The interns would invariably be the nephew of the Head of Sales, or some other big cheese, so you knew that refusing to participate was potentially detrimental to your bonus.

They’d shuffle up to the desk on a Monday morning at about 9am and explain that they were ‘here to help out’ for the next several weeks’ – rarely has such an ironic statement ever been uttered. The team head would then give them some pointless task, which they’d inevitably fail to achieve. They’d buy a lot of Costa coffees (with your money), and then they’d leave, having wasted everyone’s precious time (but finally having something useful to put on their CV).

Now I know that times have changed (thanks to the PC brigade), but I bet interns haven't, and my mind goes back to some of the wheezes we got up to with our intern friends in the 'good old days'.

1. We'd tell all the interns to gather in a meeting room which had a door visible from a nearby pub. We'd then retire to the pub and have a few pints, and place bets on which sucker intern was the last to leave. When we last did this, one poor chump waited over five hours! Interestingly, he's now Head of Compliance over at one of the big investment banks. Figures.

2. We used to send a perfectly normal email from a male intern’s desk to a male department head … ending with the words ‘I love you’. This had rather unfortunate consequences one year, when the department head sent an email back indicating that he felt the same way!

3. We'd arrange for an especially heinous 'adult' magazine to be sent to the bank c/o the intern. We'd make sure that the big boss was in on the joke, and ensure that the intern was given the parcel to open just as the boss miraculously appeared. The look on the intern's face was always priceless. 

I’ve always pretended that I left the City because of some crisis of conscience. Nonsense. It was purely engineered so as to avoid the annual summer intern horror show. Hopefully, things are a little different these days.


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