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Lessons You Can Learn From Your Interns
Because they can be useful for more than coffee-runs and photocopying
Career 10 Oct 2023

Oh the art world internship, a rite of passage for any art gal or guy. Most of us look back at our past intern experiences and shudder a little, thinking back at those days working (in most cases) for free, getting very little in return. We later evolve into having our own interns and, while we like to think we treat them better than we were handled, it’s hard to see them as more than a little extra help when our art careers get beyond hectic. But actually, your interns can teach you something (shock horror), and here we tell you why.
 
They’re Down With The Kids
down with the kids
Image via @2000s.babe
Quite literally. Interns are (normally) young students or recent graduates, meaning that they are probably pals with a fair few emerging artists, with a nose for who is going to be the next hot thing. Next time your intern grabs you a coffee, sit down with them and ask them who their favourite up-and-coming artists are.
 
They’re Eager To Learn
eager to learn
Image via @2000s.babe
Do you remember your first internship? Where you asked a sh*t ton of questions all the time? The person in charge of you probably found you horrendously annoying, but that trait of always seeking knowledge is actually beneficial. Next time your intern asks you a million questions about something banal, instead of sighing, think about how that curiosity can help you with your own work. 
 
They Don’t Mind Working Extra
work hard
Image via @2000s.babe
In my first internship at least, I had the naive understanding that if I surpassed everything my manager asked me to do, they’d be super impressed and promote me to some senior gallery position. In reality it never happened, and she’d find me some other soul-destroying task to complete that she couldn’t be bothered to do. However, stepping outside of your job duties in order to help out your colleagues will only make you look and feel like a better person.
 
They Grew Up On Social Media
grew up on social media
Image via @2000s.babe
Despite the hundreds of hours you spend laughing at our memes on Instagram, it’s likely that your intern will be more social media literate than you are. Don’t feel bad about it, they probably spent their childhood and teenage years with an iPhone in their face. So, get them to help out attracting a new demographic to your social accounts. It’s likely that this will be something they enjoy much more than paperwork and research. 
 
They Will Look Up To You
look up to you
Image via @90s.babes
Ok, that’s a given, but how can it help you? Being in charge of an intern will make you think about your leadership skills. How do you welcome them into your working environment? How do you support them when they have a question? Thinking about how you supervise your interns will also impact on how you manage other members of staff and give you a new perspective. 
 
Text Lizzy Vartanian 

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