What to Give Your Favorite Intern on Your List

"Exposure" doesn't count.

  • If you’re at a point in your life at which you are required to care about interns, you’ve probably already forgotten what it was like to be one, or you were part of those mystical generations that didn’t even have to know what an internship was until they needed to post an ad for one online.

    But you know the intern isn’t just there to grab you some Chipotle, transcribe your interviews and call it a day—they put their whole, young little heart into those menial errands! So from a veteran intern, here are a few easy ways to remind your intern that you care about the plight of the for-credit work force.

    First, remember that your intern is an actual human person with real thoughts and feelings and dreams of their own. And then move on to the material goods.

  • As much as your intern craves your approval, they really don’t need to hear you complain about how you can’t figure out how to print on your own letterhead paper or that you’ve forgotten to bring your business cards to that important business meeting with other fancy businesspeople. But these Sony headphones will block all that out, so the intern can focus on what’s important: doing the parts of your job you don’t want to do. And with the wireless bluetooth connection, they can still reorganize your bookshelves without being tethered to the blog posts they haven’t finished. (photo: Sony)

  • Blah blah millenials, blah blah digital age. Sure, your intern can work magic with your iPad, but sometimes there’s just no substitute for a color-coded paper planner. And there is nothing more satisfying for them than crossing off those days. Also, the Muji pens are refillable in every color of the rainbow, so your intern can express their individuality while taking down your coffee order. (photo: MUJI)

  • O.K., so, your intern has this great internship at this wonderful, classy publication in a big city, but they keep showing up in jeans. What gives? Well, it might surprise you to learn that it can actually be difficult for your intern to dress to your biz-cas standards when they’re living on a salary that is less than minimum wage. Clothes cost money. Nice clothes cost more money. They are not making that money. Sometimes, they aren’t making any money! So this holiday season, pay that professionalism forward, and hand off those bits of your wardrobe you don’t need anymore. It’s definitely not degrading or insulting. (photo: flickr user Claire L. Evans)

  • While your intern might rather take down notes with an old school pen and paper, you still want them to know every time you email them. What if they miss, for even a moment, your extremely important words of wisdom? The Pebble will let them know every time they get an email, text, phone call or any other kind of alert from their phone. And they’ll only look slightly less dorky than those Glassholes. (photo: Pebble)

  • Really, this is for you and your intern. The more efficiently they work, the more work they can do. With InqScribe, your intern can use hot keys to can quickly add timestamps and names to a transcription, as well as adjust the speed of the source audio or video. And if you want to splurge on the fully licensed version, it’ll only set you back $99, but the demo version is free. (photo: flickr user Taylor Liberato)

  • “Hey, you wanna be writer, so you must like books, right?” said every one of your intern’s relatives ever. Yes, books are great, but your intern probably doesn’t actually have any time to read one. So, avoid that classic pitfall gift, and reward them with one of these lovely book scarves instead. The etsy store also takes custom orders so you can preserve your intern’s most beautiful click-inducing words, and they can take them along as a reminder of what they learned under your mentorship. (photo: Storiarts)

  • If they’re anywhere near journalism, chances are, at one point or another, your intern was inspired by Hunter S. Thompson. And for that brief shining moment, everything in their life made sense. Now that they’ve actually entered the world they thought was perfect for them, they have undoubtedly lost touch with that sense of experimentation, genius and purpose. Disillusioned, they took an internship with you. Remind them why they’re here—but not with the book, obviously (see no. 6). Try the DVD instead. And that isn’t to say they actually are the next Raoul Duke; you just need them to think they might have a chance so they don’t give up before their three months with you are over.

  • If an hour in a soundless, pitch-black flotation tank doesn’t drive your intern to a psychotic break, it’ll give them the profound, absolute peace of knowing their place in the world. And some crazy ass hallucinations or something. One part relaxation, two parts saltwater, 10 million parts anxiety test: If they can survive this, you know they can survive anything. (photo: flickr user jm3)

  • The most valuable gift you can give as a boss in these troubling economic times is the continued pleasure of working for you. With health benefits. And who knows? If you do your job right, you might be working for your intern one day! Wouldn’t you rather have a boss that owes you a favor? (photo: flickr user herlitz_pbs)