The Internship is a movie based around two middle aged men, Nick Campbell and Billy McMahon, who jump into an exciting and new world of technology for an adventure where they come to learn more then they had expected.
The two main characters get let go from their sales jobs, selling watches, because according to their employer watches aren’t useful anymore and their jobs are pointless. In a technical sense they’ve been retrenched. Now they have what looks to be low income jobs and families to support. Billy informs Nick (at his place of work) about an interview at google for the chance to compete for an internship, after a few moments of deliberation Nick decides it’s a good idea as his boos at the moment is incredibly unprofessional. He quits in an extremely unethical way and they go for the interview. The interview is held over skype and this is where we can see technology is not either of their strengths but they do possess incredible amounts of drive, confidence and originality.
They just make the cut and get the opportunity. From what I could see every single candidate that was their competition was millennials who have a reputation for doing things differently than the generations before them. They get briefed and here we can see how the age groups differ in terms of what they find acceptable, ethically, professionally and socially. Later they’re required to team up and have to do a couple tasks along the way (Physical, technical and technological). Billy and Nick are completely out of their realm of expertise and struggle to be of use to their team of millennials but provide a lot of team spirit and support. As the movie carries on they win and lose a couple challenges but throughout the movie we see that Billy and Nick teach each of their team members a number of life lesson through fun experiences with them.
When Billy makes a huge technical mistake and costs the team a lot of points and feels disappointed. He decides to leave the team as he thinks it’s better for them. After he leave without consulting the team they find out the activity they have to do is a sales task which is Billy and Nick’s speciality. The team goes out of their way to get Billy back and at the end of the movie and they win the challenge. The way in which they won the challenge heavily related to what we learn in business about franchises. The central theme point is clearly how important team work and compromise is. The characters also show a number of traits managers and entrepreneurs should possess.
Management and leadership
This theme is a big one in the movie and personally I find it easy to identify.
There are different leadership attributes that not only the different age groups possess but also the individuals. There is no one team leader in this movie, they’re supposed to be equals so they don’t directly lead but rather lead through guidance more like a manager. In the beginning the team of millennials try to get Billy and Nick out of the way and in an autocratic yet unethical and unprofessional manner lead them on a wild goose chase.
There is supposedly a manager or supervisor of the group who works at google already, Lyle but it is clear he doesn’t have a very strong back bone and throughout the movie he’s constantly being spoken over or disobeyed.
Stuart and Yoyo Santos seem to possess zero management or leadership skills. Stuart is buried in his IPhone for majority or the film and although has strong opinions seems to lack motivation and direction. Yoyo has clearly been a follower where his mom has been the leader of his house hold and from how he describes her she leads in an autocratic way with many punishments and few rewards.
Mr Chetty, the instructor who leads the entire competition is a strict man who leads with a Bureaucratic style. No matter what the situation is he never disregards any rules to the slightest amount. We see this very intensely in two situations, the first is when Billy forgets to record his session of customer support over the phone; even though Mr Chetty was in the room and heard him doing brilliantly he does not think he deserves the recognition because Billy was told to record and did not. After that their team suffered a loss of many points because Mr Chetty refused to even acknowledge he was present without this recording. The second time is near the end when he is about to announce which team has won the internship and despite Lyles team being late and the fact that Mr Chetty seems to not like them he rewards them their rightful win with no hesitation.
The biggest leaders in this movie though in my own opinion are Billy and Nick. Being the oldest they have the most life experience and rather guide their team members in a way that shows the team mates the right pathways for them to discover the answer on their own. They very clearly are a mixture between charismatic leadership and Servant leadership as they value and develop the people around them but also tend to address the concerns of their group with inspirational solutions. They definitely lack many effective management and leadership skills such as organization and time management but they excel in other areas such as experience, honesty , commitment and creativity but these two men are strongest in their communication skills and with their positive and supportive attitude.
Creative thinking and problem solving
The first time we see Billy and Nick’s creative thinking and problem-solving skills is when they go for their interview over skype and they’re asked a very strange question which is “ You’re shrunken down to the size of nickels and dropped to the bottom of a blender , what do you do?”
They immediately reply by stating positive facts about this situation but say they would wait for it to stop and eventually get out. The interviewers try explaining to them that the blender hypothetically never stops but Nick disagrees because he brings in personal knowledge and experience with blenders. They really show out the box thinking and we see this when they say things like “…so we’re getting out and when we do we’re better off for it because whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and “ It’s not so much getting out of the blender, it’s what happens next”. They end up coming to the conclusion that with their new lives as nickel men they can save lives and although they have completely missed the point, avoided the real question and gone way off topic it really shows their creative problem solving techniques incredibly well and because of that this is my favourite scene.
Throughout the movie they continue to solve big and small problems with out of the box strategies but they never seem to use the problem solving process. They do in a quick thinking and experienced way but never fully utilizing all of the six steps. The team of millennials always seem to solve problems using a force field analysis or (more frequently) the nominal group technique whereas Billy and Nick tend to use a mix of the empty chair technique (not in the sense where they actually use a physical chair or even think if a chair but their minds have the ability to go directly to more than one straight forward answer or perspective), brainstorming and verbally the forced combination technique
The time we see all these techniques being put to work is during the group challenges like for example when everyone on the team grabs a white board marker and to themselves start figuring out what they need to do before they come together (Nominal group technique) whereas the two men just start spit-balling ideas off of each other from many different perspectives to get the ball rolling (a mix of the empty chai technique and forced combination).
All in all there was not that much conflict during the film. Billy and Nick didn’t seem to get angry even though there were plenty of opportunities for example:
1) When they lost their jobs
2) When Billy’s girlfriend insulted him and his dreams
3) When another intern graham insulted them by calling them unimportant and old
4) When all of their team mates doubted them
5) Even when their teammates sent them on a useless mission to get rid of them (they were upset and frustrated but never got angry or cause any conflict)
There is s scene in the beginning where Stuart and Neha begin to argue over a joke she makes. He begins to attack her and she becomes defensive but Billy breaks up the argument. This is completely understandable though as they have just began to know each other and are entering the storming phase of team development (where there true characters star to show thus begins the first round of conflicts)
For the team to have minimal arguments (which they do as I’ve mentioned) and succeed they need to have specific criteria which includes; communication skills, shared visions and values, positive attitudes, willingness to stand together, diverse skills and knowledge. This team had all of these attributes and I personally think that’s why they got on quite well with no real aggression or violence”,
The only truly violent and aggressive scene in the film is when they all go to a strip club and as Lyle is flirting on a girl he likes another man objectifies her and he becomes defensive, the scene breaks into a physical fight between the team and a bunch of older, rougher looking men. The team end up working together ad each of them seem to have absorbed a new life skill or lesson after this so even though it began as conflict it ended with the team bonding and strongly working together.
I think this is a great movie to watch for business studies grade twelve because it has many different elements that we can see practically being shown through real people living and not a text book. Besides that the movie mentions a lot of business terms which I definitely would have missed if I wasn’t thinking about it and making notes.
This movie directly tied in with our theme or franchising and it was nice to understand what was happening and apply it. Above and beyond the movie being highly educational it was highly enjoyable and slightly relatable. It was incredibly funny so my attention was never steered away but I could relate to the young adults getting frustrated with the older people about not understanding what seems simple to us but is obviously bound to be complicated to a generation that hasn’t grown up with technology. Also I could relate because I’ve seen very similar characteristics that where in Billy and Nick in my parents or adults around me.
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and the project.