The Intern


The Intern

Written by 
Nancy Meyers

Director Nancy Meyers
Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo

Category    Employee Engagement,Employee Wellness/ Life Balance,Enterpreneurship& Innovation,Leadership,Teams& Coaching,Women      


Warner Bros. Pictures



Language English
121 min

Tell A Friend

Add to my Viewing List


Starting a new job can be a difficult challenge, especially if you are already retired. Looking to get back into the game, the 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) seizes the opportunity to become a senior intern at an online fashion retail startup company. Ben soon becomes popular with his younger coworkers, including Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), the boss and founder of the company.

The idea of a senior intern creates an ideal combination of the good old fashioned way of thinking to the modern one. Younger employees are more competitive and feel insecure as they haven't proved themselves yet, whereas the senior intern was displaying altruistic behaviors such as promoting other colleagues work, or reminding their positives to management. The movie carries an important message for HR people: it's time to bring in some older workers and pair them with younger team members; we may be surprised what we may learn from inter-generational coworkers seeking to collaborate on any level.

Keeping employees engaged and happy was a critical factor of the company's success. Someone in the company rang a bell to recognize when something good was happening to the company, such as getting 2500 likes on an Instagram picture, or to recognize workers’ achievements, no matter how small. For example, Ben got recognized for cleaning a perpetually messy communal desk. These micro-celebrations helped keep everyone aware of progress with real-time information and inspire them to do great things. Other examples of the good practices implemented are the co-workers' birthday celebrations and the employment of an in-house massage therapist where everyone could go to have their stress released.

"The Intern" becomes a movie about the professional married woman in the 21st century. Jules Ostin was a successful entrepreneur who was leading by example; she was setting the standards of the company by being a front liner when required to show her staff how to handle a dissatisfied customer, or by showing the packaging staff exactly how the products have to be folded. On the other hand, Jules was trying to balance running a company that has quickly grown to 220 people with her family life, which we found out was difficult for her. The key tension in the movie was whether Jules would hire a CEO to take control of her company in order to give her more time at home or whether she would stay in the top position herself.

Here comes the mentor-intern aspect of the movie. The intern was not just an ordinary intern; in fact he was a perfect mentor. His charm, wisdom and sense of humor help him develop a special bond and growing friendship with his boss Jules. He was there to offer support and at crucial points to remind her of her achievements, to help her discover who she really was and how she should pursue real fulfillment and happiness without making sacrifices she would probably regret sooner or later. At the end, Ben was the one who advised and convince Jules to not cave in and hire a CEO. "I never had anything like this in my life, this big, beautiful thing that you created", he told her.


Contributed by: Elena Hanna