'The Internship' Laughs at the Highs and Lows of Being a Google Intern

In "The Internship," Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play forty-something unemployed salesmen who are desperately seeking a mid-life change. Using their gift of gab, they talk their way into the Google Intern program even though they're twice the age of the rest of the group and they have no tech experience. (It's a comedy movie so you have to overlook the lack of logic.)

Once they're on board, they find that this particular internship program is more like summer camp. The participants are divided into teams and given a series of challenges - with the winner getting a full-time job at Google. Quite the prize.

the internshipPhoto courtesy of 20th Century Fox

According to Mashable, the film does a good job of portraying the Google culture but an actual intern says that the cutthroat competition is a fantasy. At Google, it's all about working together toward a common goal and having fun along the way. They call it "Googliness," but peace and harmony doesn't make people laugh, so director Shawn Levy took a few liberties. Those liberties led to scenes of Wilson and Vaughn acting as wise life coaches, encouraging the youngers on their teams to enjoy life and beer. Lots of beer.

At the heart of the film is the generation gap between the tech savvy Millennials and the transitional Gen Xers. It could have been an empowering film for midlifers who want to join the tech workforce, but Levy decided not to include that message.

The Internship is funny and, since it was filmed with Google's cooperation, it's an interesting look into one of the world's most innovative corporate cultures.

There is one serious takeaway from the film and that's the importance of the internship process for today's college student. A degree used to be all you needed to land a great job, but these days hands-on experience is much more important. In the movie, the Google Internship competition is played for laughs, but in real world internships, employers want to see how potential employees function in a high-stress, deadline-driven atmosphere. These internships are also a great way for students to find out if they're cut out for the career they chose for themselves while there's still time to make a change.

What Do You Think?

Some people say that internships are just a way for companies to get free labor. Do you agree or do you think internships are beneficial to both parties?

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