4 Things You Can Learn From “The Intern”

January 7, 2016

Career Advice

Once in a while a movie comes along that not only entertains, but educates. The Intern, starring Robert DeNiro, is one of these movies. DeNiro plays a 70-something gentleman who becomes an intern for a hip, startup company. He does not dress like the others and generally doesn’t act like them either. Instead of a messenger bag, headphones, and an iPhone, his character Ben carries a hard-sided briefcase, a flip phone and a paper planner. As you may have guessed, Ben doesn’t wear a hoodie—he dons a three-piece suit with a matching pocket square and wing-tipped business shoes.

Despite the fact that Ben’s old-school ways do not seem to fit in with his colleagues, he teaches them all a few things throughout the movie. Here are some takeaways from The Intern that you can put into action in your everyday work or search for a job or internship.

  1. Listening and patience. Ben pays very close attention to the actions of his boss. He does not leave his desk at the end of the day until she does, and as a result, learns so much more about her. His patience comes into play here: he waits for her to notice him, talk to him, and finally ask for his opinion on a few work-related things. His quiet, but strong character, continuously creates opportunities where he can showcase his talents. Listen, process, and wait. 
  2. Pride. Ben takes pride in everything he does from the way he dresses to his work ethic. (He’s in before the boss and leaves only after she does.) He’s also proud to be a mentor to all the young millennials he works with. He shares lesson after lesson with his younger colleagues to give them an edge in their careers. Pride in the way you do your job will get you noticed! 
  3. Attire. Ben dresses completely different than his coworkers. (A three-piece suit and fancy shoes!) Although more appropriate for work culture 20+ years ago, Ben finds a way to impress and influence his younger counterparts with his clothing. His respectful and chivalrous attitude is the perfect accessory, and by the end of the movie one of his colleagues is rocking the three-piece suit as well! If you aren’t certain about your clothing in the work world, it’s always better to take it up a notch rather than down. First impressions matter and the powers that be will notice your dedication in this area. 
  4. Communication. Working with colleagues who aren’t your age or even in your generation can seem tough. However, it provides the opportunity for ideas from both generations to bubble up to the top.  The young interns and employees in the film learn how to communicate with Ben just as he does with them—he helps them learn how to win over and influence clients while they help him learn how millennials succeed in today’s technological world. Mentorship can work both ways! 

About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

View all posts by Spectrum Brands Careers


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