Doing bitch work during your internship?

ythadrian's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 31

Currently at a small boutique firm in Hong Kong undergoing my Cash Equities Summer Trading Analyst internship. There I see fellow traders executing trades and being super busy at work. There in my first week, I am asked to shred paper of records of accounting statements from 10 years ago.

Should I ask whether there is some actual work I can do? Or should I just stick it out and hope for the best in the upcoming couple of weeks?

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Comments (5)

Nov 26, 2017

Since you're interning. Keep doing what they ask until they feel they can trust you.

I would be optimistic and hope for the best. Patience is key.

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Nov 26, 2017

Internships seem to have two primary purposes:
1. To introduce you to a role and to help you develop within that firm, and
2. More importantly, to make the lives of the FT junior employees lives' easier.

Since you just started, they want to learn what you're capable of. While this task is arguably as mundane as it gets, I would say just keep your head down and do it as quickly as possible. I think a lot of people go into these internships with the expectation that there will be a ton of exciting and glamorous work, which shouldn't be the case. If you had been there for over a month and hadn't done anything aside from shred docs, then it would be another story.

My advice is to stick it out, try and get to know the people you work with, and most importantly, just look like you're happy to be there. In my experience, by showing that I was excited to step foot in the building each day, and that I would do my best work on any task given to me, I was soon able to perform tasks that weren't offered to any of the other interns. I have friends in IB, REPE, and other fields who adopted the same mentality, and it seems to have worked for all of us.

Best of luck to ya

Nov 26, 2017

Keep in mind that there are those of us who would do quite a lot, anything really, to have the chance to do the "bitch work" you so easily complain about, probably for free or close to it...and would spend our free time trying to learn things that might help us add value or become more interesting/useful at work instead of whining about it on WSO.

Everything they ask you to do has a reason...and even if it doesn't, pretend like it does. You will never hurt yourself doing something well. But by whining and complaining, or doing anything in a substandard fashion, you will certainly stick out to them. And not in a good way. They will give you more interesting work when they think you can handle it.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Nov 26, 2017

I would shred every damn piece of paper so there isn't any more paper they could possibly give to you to shred ;

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Nov 27, 2017

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