"I can't stand interns who __________"

Pretty self-explanatory: just looking for traits/habits/characteristics of interns that really piss you off and might preclude them from getting a FT offer.

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Comments (84)

Jul 24, 2018

Smack their gum.

Jul 24, 2018

... have attitude.

I understand you're smart, but please cut the sass and eye rolls. I know we give you menial tasks, but it's a part of the job.

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Jul 24, 2018

Really? You get a number of interns with an attitude? That's pretty surprising. I'd think that even if they were arrogant -- which I'm sure a bunch of 'em are -- they'd at least be able to hide and fake it for the summer.

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Jul 24, 2018

Not a number. It's just top-of-mind as I am currently dealing with one. He's probably mentioned that he is a part of MENSA 5+ times this summer too.

He will be receiving a return offer for reasons outside of my control.

    • 4
Jul 24, 2018

Ha. I like how resigned and annoyed you sound about his offer "... for reasons beyond my control." And the MENSA thing? Really? I didn't think people our age (college) even did that, let alone talked about it. I thought that was a "jokey brag thing" from like the 70's or 80's.

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Jul 24, 2018

My thought is that if he had taken the GMAT already, I'd probably be hearing about his 780 GMAT score too.

... and yeah, he is the nephew of someone extremely important.

    • 2
Jul 27, 2018

lol

Jul 24, 2018

Play fortnite on their computer using a video game controller rather than the superior mouse and keyboard

Jul 25, 2018

I'm an intern and I do this. Is my career over already?

    • 2
Jul 28, 2018

rather than the superior mouse and keyboard

They're never gonna learn those all important Fortnite keyboard shortcuts if you continue to let them use their mouse

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Jul 24, 2018

I dislike interns who are obsequious and do not understand boundaries. Yes, it is important to demonstrate a good attitude and try to establish a working relationship. No, it is not necessary to try to forcefully and awkwardly bond with me during your few weeks here. This includes straining to engage me in conversation when I clearly don't want to converse, and just generally trying too hard. We will not build a meaningful personal relationship in your limited time here getting up to speed. But, if you're one of these try-hards, you will leave me with a bad taste in my mouth due to your surprising lack of self-awareness, and I will not be your fan when it's roundtable time.

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Jul 24, 2018

Yeah, honestly, that's a fine-line to walk for us college kids -- trying to be social, but not coming off as too desperate/trying too hard. I guess you have to know how to read the room, and just let it come naturally.

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Most Helpful
Jul 24, 2018

...ask me a question, then interrupt me as soon as they think they know the answer so they can show me that they know.

I really enjoy the teaching and mentorship part of the job. I like it when people come to me with questions, and they leave my office slightly more capable than when they entered it. I am not, as a rule, impressed with your knowledge base, and I don't expect to be. I really, really don't like being interrupted, especially when I'm taking the time to answer a question that you asked me.

Ask, listen, learn, say thanks.

    • 39
Jul 24, 2018

Ha. Again, I see where you're coming from, and the internship... sometimes we "kids" don't have enough self-awareness to realize what can be annoying... hearing the perspective from the other side is super helpful.

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Jul 27, 2018

Idk why you got shit on for this, you're definitely right, it's a tough line to walk.

Jul 24, 2018

I've caught myself doing this a few times. I'll ask my analyst a question, and then realize that I actually know the answer, and just blurt it out as he's explaining it. This is good feedback.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
    • 6
Jul 27, 2018

Have seen a BB banker infuriated by this. And the one asking him the question then interrupting him, she ended up crying after being scolded.

    • 1
Jul 27, 2018

Thanks Layne.

Jul 24, 2018

Who asks the same shit twice. Please interns, take notes, for fuck sake. When you ask me the third time, I'm gonna call you out on the floor and tell you take notes and people will hear me.

    • 1
Jul 24, 2018

Just a weird/logistical question... do some interns actually type your info. into their phones while you give it to them? Or do just expect/assume they'll write it down later? Just wondering if it's weird for intern to be walking around with notebook/typing into phone while talking to you. It makes sense to do so... just wondering if some actually write down the info. while you're dispensing it.

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Jul 24, 2018

wondering same thing as well

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Jul 24, 2018

Well interns know they rotate and they do 1 on 1 with the person they're assigned to. So when you're expected to meet someone from the desk to teach and mentor you, there's nothing wrong with carrying a notebook, that is, if you want to take notes. Just try to keep up and we implore you ask questions, it shows that you're interested. But the don't keep asking the same questions over and over again. It gets annoying and repetitive. It tells me you're not focused and I can't rely on you There's fine line when it comes to carrying a phone on the trading floor. People who are full-time do it but don't expect an intern to pull out a phone.

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Jul 24, 2018

notepad pen and calculator always. always.

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Jul 27, 2018
itsanumbersgame:

notepad pen and calculator always. always.

^^^
Solid advice. All interns should take notes.

Jul 24, 2018

Its not weird to walk around with a notebook. Will look better than typing into a phone, since it will look like you're texting.

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Jul 27, 2018

You should always have a notebook and be taking notes. There's no way you'll remember it all. Senior bankers have notebooks and take notes.

I don't suggest using your phone for notes. It gives the perception you're doing something else.

    • 3
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Funniest
Jul 24, 2018

... Treat me like the fucking search feature on Google.

    • 50
Jul 24, 2018

+1. lol

Jul 25, 2018

Love the username

Jul 26, 2018

www.lmgtfy.com is probably the most amazing feature for idiots like that. Always nice to see stupid faces once you send them a link of the likes

    • 1
Jul 24, 2018

Today there was a meeting with our director to review a deck that was put together by one of the analysts. There was a spelling/syntax mistake that I saw but I wasn't going to point that out in front of the director. Just made a note to let him know after the meeting ... until our team's intern decided to point it out in front of everyone. The director didn't take too kindly to it either, because on the next slide he asked the intern "hey, you want to use your HP 12C to double check the math?" which got some laughs from the room.

Interns: don't throw your peers under the bus

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Jul 24, 2018

The intern probably didn't realize he was ratting on another intern; he was likely just so excited to be "useful" that he couldn't wait to score some points.

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Jul 25, 2018

Agree. It's an internal meeting, it's nothing personal. If calculations would off, it would be another question, but just some formatting and spelling is something that can happen and is worth correcting and pointing out.

Jul 25, 2018

There's no point in calling it out in front of a director in this situation. Just wait until after the meeting is over and then bring it up to the analyst

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Jul 27, 2018

Why would you give a shit either way? "Ooooooooo you said it in front of the director ooooooooooooo" I swear bankers are the biggest bunch of pussies on the planet

Array
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Oct 17, 2018

Is that so tough guy?

Dayman?

Jul 24, 2018

watch the world cup without me.. jk my interns are awesome haven't had any issues..

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Jul 24, 2018

Whoa, you sound like a good guy to work for... gotta get in your department.

    • 2
Jul 24, 2018

exist

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jul 25, 2018

Use the mouse in Excel...

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Jul 27, 2018

A combo of mouse and keyboard isn't bad

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Jul 27, 2018

Thanks for the info, chief. Maybe I should have clarified that I meant primarily using the mouse to navigate Excel. Maybe that should be a given. Maybe being clear and precise in a not serious thread on WSO isn't everyone's top priority.

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Aug 2, 2018

Definitely for chart formatting menu / quick switching tabs.. there are other good examples of course. But there was another intern at my firm that was using the mouse to select ranges / arrays, right clicking with the mouse, even clicking copy and paste and all the paste specials (which he barely knew about). I don't think he knew where the alt key was or had a quick ribbon. It was painful to watch. His technical skills were absolute ass overall even in week 9

    • 1
Jul 25, 2018

...Over promise and under deliver.

Don't "Excessively" stack your to-do list so high that you begin faltering on your deliverables and pushing other people's deadlines. Understand what a human can accomplish in 24 hours, and staff yourself accordingly. You will be better off at the end of your internship with a small group of people in the office thinking you were instrumental to their team, as opposed to everyone thinking you were overstretched and underperforming.

    • 5
Jul 25, 2018

Aren't professional.

I'm mentoring a few interns and wanted to meet with them to go over their ideas for one of their intern challenges, asked the leader to set up a meeting with everyone. I'm expecting a normal meeting, in a meeting room (who would've thought eh?), this hippie goes and decides that we should have it on the small grass area in front of the HQ - Why on Earth would that be a good idea?

Had the 'xoxo' sign off from one.

And the creme de la creme, one had a small task to do and in the email wrote "I think it's a bit rubbish, but will it do?" ............ are you serious?
No it wasn't an important task at all but you're an intern and that's a terrible attitude, why would you ever think submitting something you think is rubbish is a good idea?

    • 13
Jul 25, 2018

I liked your post, but thought it was a bit rubbish.

    • 15
Jul 25, 2018

Appreciate the feedback, will keep it in mind

    • 1
Jul 25, 2018

Tbh this guy is a bit rubbish in general. Can see his interns point.

Jul 25, 2018

My intern practices LIFO pretty religiously.

    • 31
Jul 25, 2018

Ha. I wonder if you coined that term for the lazy worker.

Jul 25, 2018

Hate it when interns take a lap around the office every day at like 11pm to ask for work because they feel guilty going home while the analysts are still there. Please don't bother me - if I needed something at this hour you would be the first to know

    • 5
Jul 25, 2018

First day of my internship: you do not leave until you asked everybody for work everyday before leaving :D

Jul 25, 2018

Wait -- so is it good or bad to ask people for work? Seems like it would be better to ask, as long as you don't repeatedly ask the same person.

    • 1
Jul 25, 2018

My experience, during the day, observe the people and do not ask too often. We were 4 interns and if everybody will ask everybody, it is pretty annoying for the analysts. During the evening/night, every intern had to ask every guy who was still in the office for work before leaving. Their argumentation: Maybe the guy has some deadline and the interns could help.

There was always one guy who just let you wait for 1 hour with the reason, maybe he has something for you later. Mostly its the time around 2 or 3 am

Jul 28, 2018

Eh, I actually appreciate this and generally tell the interns to do it. No reason they need to be here all night just because I am, but they do need to be willing to help out and not leave if we need them. 9 times out of 10 I'll tell them to go home. But occasionally it'll occur to me it'll help me out when they come and ask.

    • 1
Jul 25, 2018
  • Never takes notes
  • Has to be told the same thing multiple times (relates to point above)
  • Doesn't complete all the comments in a turn (seriously I don't get how you highlight each comment but then miss things)
  • Makes excuses
  • Doesn't ask questions when they need to on assignments
    • 6
Jul 25, 2018

Explain shit to other interns that I just explained to them when I know they haven't fully understood it or practiced enough. Hate that. I would love it if interns could help each other and teach each other because it makes my life easier and makes them learn better but they can ONLY do that when they have proven they have fully understood it. More often then not they 'teach' something 3-4 hours after having heard it for the first time and not having fully understood it.

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Jul 25, 2018

Have 3.9 GPAs. No social skills or experience with failure...

Jul 25, 2018

Real meta, love it.

Jul 25, 2018

Seconded

Jul 27, 2018

..

    • 1
Jul 25, 2018

1 - who try to argue the point when I tell them that something is their job, not something for them to try to delegate back to me. I learned how to pull equity research before you were born, I know how, so the whole point of the exercise is for you to learn the skill.
2 - who think that they know how to do my job because "I looked on Google and didn't find it"
3 - who think they're somehow helping me out by mentioning the sources in the report they're looking for an update on, which they've conveniently attached to the email. Yes, I know how to read the sources cited, but thanks!

    • 1
Jul 25, 2018

Try to hard to get "in" with the Analysts that have the most sway in the office or seem like the popular guys, while simultaneously being relatively dickish to the people they don't think they have to impress (like their other interns or Karen from the Leasing department).

We don't currently have an intern like this, but there was a candidate who got dinged for it during our post-superday dinner/cocktail hour. I know that no one realllly wants to talk to Karen the Head of Leasing about her role in the company, and frankly neither do I, but pretending to be interested shows you're a courteous guy and well polished.

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Jul 26, 2018

...rude and lazy... (what a combination :( )

Jul 26, 2018

Can't do a single pushup. One kid I''m working with can't do a single pushup, pretty funny to watch him try

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Jul 26, 2018

Wtf? If you can't do a single pushup, that should be grounds for no offer

    • 1
Jul 26, 2018

If you can't do a single push up, that should be grounds to seek immediate medical help :D

    • 1
Jul 27, 2018
  • Aren't performing great, but don't live in the office trying to perform better
  • Pretend they understand basic concepts only to ask stupid questions later when talking about stuff building on those concepts
  • Require substantial amounts of time investment with little to no real tangible output
  • Don't retain information (telling them the same thing over and over again)
  • Aren't aware enough to understand how to do well at the job yet still aren't smart enough to just ask
    • 2
Jul 27, 2018

At networking events, cornering senior bankers and trying to force extended conversation. In a 2 hour session, you should not expect nor try for hour long conversations with any single person. You're also missing the point, which is to meet a broader group of people.

    • 4
Jul 27, 2018

...fidget throughout long meetings. I get that it isn't the most exciting topic for you, but constantly shifting, yawning and biting your nails shows you have the attention span of a goldfish

    • 1
Jul 27, 2018

Don't own their actions, can't say please/thank you.

The best are the ones that react like they are peeking in from a parallel universe through a hole in space-time when mistakes get pointed out.
I'm not advocating "crawl and beg for mercy" but in the same time some degree of "oh yea my bad" wouldn't kill you.
Lately I have seen this go hand in hand with a level of entitlement. It's all that Instagram culture I tell ya'. pulls out a can of LaCroix

    • 2
Jul 27, 2018

Don't jump the chain of command. You have an issue? Deal with the person first. Then and only then do you go above them. Going above the head of your direct superior is a great way to not get a return offer.

    • 1
Jul 28, 2018

Couldn't help but chime in on this one because interns and grad rotation people the past couple of months are hurting our desk.

Very basic- interrupting me or colleagues near to my desk with basic questions that can be answered via google or investopedia. Conveys nothing but laziness and lack of initiative. My pet hate. We have some bright quant people this summer but they are one trick ponies - have no clue how to source quality info or self learn at all. Also hipster quants eating porridge at 10am and taking 15mins to brew their fancy tea.

Patience exercise at the moment.

TG

    • 1
Jul 28, 2018

Intern tip: Don't try to sell analysts xanax/vyvanse/other

    • 2
Jul 28, 2018

(unless we ask for it!)

    • 1
Oct 17, 2018

Not too many details needed. Seemed like he sold drugs casually to friends to pick up extra cash. He was unpaid and working in a middle office function. He also only listed his PF GPA excluding freshman fall on his resume which is hilarious

Jul 30, 2018

If this actually happened we need details

Jul 29, 2018

who ask questions then look at me/behave as if i was explaining my job to someone in a bar/ my auntie who is just trying to get a vague idea of what i am doing...

Jul 30, 2018

.. are trying to blame someone else for their mistakes.

Jul 31, 2018
Aug 1, 2018
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Aug 23, 2018
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Aug 24, 2018