Last year’s The Intern was vastly different from the buddy comedy offered in The Internship. This film is especially great at it’s conversation of generational differences. In addition to that, it offers some great career advice. Whether you’re 22 years old or 70 years young, this film has something for everyone. The whole plot revolves around an extremely successful design startup. This startup company decides to implement a new ‘senior’ intern program. In this program, the average age is beyond or around retirement age. This proves to shake up the largely millennial workforce at the company with interesting results.

Back to Basics

Anne Hathaway stars as Jules, the successful CEO of the startup company that has seen a huge boom in a short time. Robert De Niro stars as Ben Whittaker, the retiree that joins Hathaway’s startup as part of the new internship program. From the get-go it’s incredibly clear that De Niro’s Ben is well practiced in the business world. Ben dresses extremely well, wears a suit, and is always clean shaven. This is a shock to all the younger workers in the office, who could learn a thing or two from Ben.

Starting in a new position, your appearance is just as important as your demeanor. Ben seems to understand both sides of this coin. A great example of this is the conference room which has gotten extremely messy. No one wants to tackle this project and clean it. Although no one asks him to, Ben takes initiative and tidies it up. This wins Ben big points from Jules and the rest of the office. Although he wasn’t asked he just went ahead and did it because he knew it needed to be done. Being proactive and solving problems like Ben is a great way to get noticed in the workplace. Whether or not it’s in your job description, if you know you’re capable of getting something done, do it! Just make sure you don’t step on anyones toes by doing so.

The People Around You

In the film, Ben also does a spectacular job of being a visible face, and being a positive force to everyone. He talks to everyone at the office with positive compliments, empowering them. Although he is only an intern, albeit a 70 year old one, he is still working in a leadership capacity. Jules and Ben share a unique relationship and ultimately both of them work as mentors for one other. They each stand to learn a lot from the other. Diversity of ideas, backgrounds, and opinions in the workplace is healthy. Sometimes the best ideas arise, when you an idea needs to be justified to disagreeing people.

Jules also makes herself available by not having an office to shut herself away in. This policy goes beyond the ‘open door’ mentality, eliminating it completely. Jules is very visible to all the employees, and they know not to hesitate if they need to ask her something. This means problems get solved promptly and efficiently since there is no red tape or chain employees have to follow. If they have to, they can go directly to the source.

The Importance of Balance

Throughout the movie there is a constant theme of characters trying to find balance in their lives. Ben seeks out the internship because his life is too lacking in structure, and he needs to be working. Jules on the other hand, doesn’t realize she’s working too much, and it’s having an impact on her home life. They are both able to help each other find a delicate balance between the two. It’s incredibly easy to fall to the either severe side of the spectrum regarding work/life balance. This is why it’s very important to be aware of how much time you’re spending working and ultimately if you’re happy.

The Intern is not only a fun feel-good film, it also holds some truly valuable career advice, with an interesting conversation about the generational shift that is happening in the workforce. There are differences in cultures, expectations, and aptitude. Adapting to this shift will need to happen across the board, and this movie is a great start!