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In which we discuss internship tips, summer job advice, and how to make your internship CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

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Created by:
Emma Mills & Mike Martin

Written, hosted, edited, and directed by:
Mike Martin
(Mike is also a Young Adult novelist. His book, THE END GAMES, is available at all online booksellers, including Amazon:

Executive Producers:
Hank & John Green

(0:15) Mike: Hey! So Tumblr user forte-and-a-half recently said:

(0:17) Reading Quote: "I got my first big girl internship-slash-job and I'm really scared. Any tips?"

(0:22) Mike: First, congratulations. That's really awesome. Second, being scared, totally normal.

(0:27) One of the things I wish I could tell myself when I was younger is that being scared is, like a good thing. It means you're trying something new, which is how you kinda grow into the kind of person you wanna be. 

(0:38) As for actual tangible tips about how to internship, I'm going to illustrate with a story about a friend of mine named Charlie. Name changed to protect the innocent.

(0:48) So one of my favorite people in the world is this guy named Charlie. He's super nice guy and really sweet and he graduated ahead of me in film school.

(0:54) After Charlie graduated he and his small town sweetheart who had just become his wife moved out to Los Angeles so he could pursue his career as a screen writer.

(1:03) Now, trying to become a screenwriter is daunting in the best of times and circumstances. You work long hours for strange, demeaning jobs with little pay, all in the hopes of meeting someone, so you can meet someone else, so you can meet someone else who MIGHT be able to do something with the screenplays that you're writing, hopefully, with every spare moment you've got.

(1:21) And unfortunately, things were extra hard for Charlie and his wife, because they moved out there in 2006, and in 2007, the Writer's Guild strike happened. 

(1:31) This rendered much of the entertainment industry unemployed, and it effectively cut off all the momentum Charlie had been gaining from all of his jobs.

(1:37) Mr. and Mrs. Charlie even had a baby, which was, and is, a profound blessing in their lives, but they were undeniably financially strained. And, if I remember correctly, they were living, for a while, solely on Mrs. Charlie's baby sitting income.

(1:51) Then, the Writer's Strike ended. And Charlie got a call from a friend. 

(1:55) "Hey Charlie," friend said, "I'm working on this hit TV show, and, their intern quit. Could you come out and, pick up lunch and stuff for us, for a couple days?

(2:03) It was only a temporary job, but Charlie wasn't really in the position to say no.

(2:07) So he goes to this job, and here is where we can get into the tips.

(2:10) When Charlie was in the office, he did absolutely everything as well as he could.

(2:14) For instance, when he picked up lunch orders, he made sure before he left the restaurant that he had everything right. He also made sure to get more napkins and condiments than any human would reasonably need.

(2:27) He wrote down, for future reference, the way everybody liked their coffee.

(2:31) Those might seem like small things, but, most people don't do them.

(2:34) As the old saying goes, "It's never crowded along the extra mile."

(2:38) And hey, if you were in a position of power, who would you be more likely to help:

(2:42) The intern who screwed up your lunch, or, the one who got it right, and gave you extra ketchup?

(2:47) Tip #2: Charlie didn't ask the people who already "made it" for anything. At least not early on.

(2:54) I can only speak for my, and to a degree, Charlie's experience, but, when you're starting out in your field, you don't really realize the demands made on people who are higher up the food chain.

(3:05) So, I would suggest not asking for favors early on.

(3:08) But, if you do an outstanding job at the little things, and build up a degree of rapport overtime, people will often offer to help you, or at least be much more willing to help if you ask.

(3:17) In this regard, it always helps me to think of Stephen Covey's notion of the emotional bank account.

(3:22) So in order to make withdrawals from the account, like asking for favors, or being forgiven for a big mistake, first, you have to make deposits into the account.

(3:30) For instance, by doing the small things really well.

(3:32) Tip #3: During downtime, Charlie did things that needed to be done, without anyone asking him to do them.

(3:38) Remember how Charlie was the food guy?

(3:40) Well, one day, when there was nothing else to do, instead of looking at Facebook or whatever, Charlie went through the refrigerator and cleaned out all the old mayonnaise and milk and et cetera that had gone bad.

(3:49) Then he cleaned the fridge, and the kitchen as a whole. This will sound funny, but,

(3:53) This, genuinely, amazed the writing staff.

(3:56) And consequently, Charlie temporary office assistant position became a full-time office assistant position.

(4:03) Then the writer's assistant position.

(4:04) Then a co-writer on an episode,

(4:05) And then, finally, a writer, producer, and executive on this hit TV show. 

(4:10) And I want to point out, that in the cut-throat, cynical, mercurial Hollywood world, Charlie accomplished wonders by being kind, thoughtful, and uncommonly helpful.

(4:19) Nobody can really say where jobs and internships will lead, but there's always a degree of luck in life.

(4:25) But we here at How To Adult really believe that if you follow Charlie's not-forgetting-to-be-awesome example, you'll increase your luck by a lot.

(4:32) Please let us know in the comments below, do you guys have any first-job or internship tips? Also, be sure to check out Rosianna's really wonderful video about internships. And as always, thanks for watching, which is not the catchphrase, because there is not a catchphrase yet. But there will be, probably.