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Thread: Happy Intern Season / Intern Hall of Fame

  1. #1
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    Happy Intern Season / Intern Hall of Fame

    Our new one started today asking me if he should call me "Mister Senior Planning Manager" or by my first name. I told him "Sir" will do fine.

    What are some of your favorite intern stories? #1 for me was getting a call that my intern was driving a city car down the interstate - - the wrong way.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    that is hilarious - can't top that

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    My favorite was encountering a former intern thirty years later and having her tell me how her internship convinced her to reject planning as a career. She became an appraiser instead and never looked back.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  4. #4
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TOFB View post
    Our new one started today asking me if he should call me "Mister Senior Planning Manager" or by my first name. I told him "Sir" will do fine.

    What are some of your favorite intern stories? #1 for me was getting a call that my intern was driving a city car down the interstate - - the wrong way.
    OMG I gust googled the guy and he is an Assistnat City Manager!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I gave a new intern an former unmarked PD squad for him to use during some "sign patrol" work I had him doing. Unfortunately it still had the spotlight and a working radio. He felt that his authorized use of the vehicle also gave him the authority to get on the Police Dept radio net to report traffic violations he observed and stop "suspicious" pedestrians (specifically Jehovah Witnesses)...Oy, did that cause me some headaches.

    He was connected and I couldn't let him go. Needless to say subsequent assigned duties never let him out of the back office.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Other than the one who went outside every 20 minutes to have a smoke or the other one that was caught (by IT) downloading pron, I've been pretty lucky with interns.

    We usually give the interns a mock interview at the end of their time with us. Ask the normal entry level questions and such. Had one that was just awful, very unprepared, couldn't answer some questions. We critiqued him and told him what him might want to brushup on for any interview. A year and a half later, we had an opening and he applied. More out of courtesy, we gave him an interview. He hadn't improved at all. Still very poor showing (BYW-he did not get the job).
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    I had an intern who showed up for about two weeks. Then disappeared. Then about a month later sent me an e-mail telling me that he was now ready to return to the internship but felt he should be working on something different as the project we had given him was dumb because developer's already know about the development process so we don't need to provide them any information on it.
    Last edited by dandy_warhol; 24 May 2012 at 4:18 PM.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    A former agnecy I worked for had a months long project completed for us by a fifth year landscape architecture class. One of the guys there was shown in their brochure as the "GIS Manager". So, when we wanted an intern for a simple but tedius project, we contacted him.

    At the end of the term, he had a complete layer (after being shown how to create a layer in the first place) showing over 800 historical structures in the county based on historical survey forms.

    It turned out that we had made a mistake in not checking him. All of the entries had one field, which was a number 1 through 800-ish. None of the structures' addresses, names, or coordinates were entered.

    So, what we got was a bunch of pretty dots with no way to cross check them with the orginal records.
    Back home just in time for hockey season!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I'm still waiting for the pro forma I assigned. A complaint was lodged that "it's too hard to make the deal work". Yeah, welcome to affordable housing. Miracle worker is part of the job description. A fellow staffer had an intern that she assigned to file client folders in alphabetical order. She did, by first name and only grouped them by letter, no alphabetizing within the A B C holders. They ask me if RT can come on her vacations to help them because she not only files alphabetically but she updates their master list which is organized by case number. It got her a paying gig this summer
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  10. #10
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I had an intern from the that showed up for three days, then disappeared. I contacted her faculty advisor because I thought something might have happened to her. She then sent me a nasty email about how we were bad planners because a project we had approved (consistent with our codes at the time) did not meet her ideal of good planning, and that I was an asshole for contacting her internship advisor since she would not get credit for the internship as a result. Apparently she was still going to seek credit for it despite only coming for three days of what was to be a 300 hour internship. She made a fatal mistake with me though... she copied my boss, the city manager. He told me to go ahead and go after her so she learns that taking such actions in a workplace has consequences.

    That email was subsequently forwarded by me to the dean of her college, chair of her department and her internship advisor, along with a scathing email from me explaining why I would never accept an intern from their program at any future job and would share my experience with other planners in the region. My intern was placed on disciplinary probation by the university for an honor code violation. She had to take a F in the internship course and was prevented from graduating for a semester. I received apology letters from each of the faculty members I had sent the email to.

    I still don't take interns from this particular university. I had two interns from that university before this one that underachieved, but this experience sent me over the edge.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    I don't really have any crazy internship stories, but at the last place I worked my boss was always taking interns on (unpaid) without really giving them anything to do. Basically he'd just shove them into this tiny office and give them a bunch of plans to look at. I don't even know if they had access to email, let alone GIS to play around with. I felt bad for the poor kids.

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Back in the old manual map making days, we employed most of our interns in the graphics area. Most were architecture or graphic arts students and worked out pretty well. One worked out especially well, I'm still married to her.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    This Bear is (obviously) not in the planning biz. But we do bring in interns every summer at my workplace. Most of them do their work in the Purchasing silo, usually on special projects such as freight costing, etc. A few years ago we had an intern who spent his time browsing porn sites. He went bye-bye rather quickly.

    Bill Clinton had an intern.

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    Occupy Cyburbia!

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    RT has started her internship with my agency in a different department. So far she has been to transportation planning for lay people training at the university, did field outreach yesterday for half day, was updated on the budget of the main program she will be assisting with, and tomorrow she is going to the state capitol for lobby day. There will be no slacking off for her
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  15. #15
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    In my office, we just hired a new intern this summer. And he's actually been really great so far. So great, I sometimes worry he might out-do me! I know I'm being ridiculous in my worrying. But it's good to have a good intern that does quality work and is competent. Everyone in the office can get more work done. Everyone stays on their toes and ups their game, 'cause if the intern's working so hard...you should be working even harder!
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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  16. #16
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    I still don't take interns from this particular university. I had two interns from that university before this one that underachieved, but this experience sent me over the edge.
    I think I remember where you're located. I hope the university you're talking about isn't the one with the infamous tower...

  17. #17
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by FueledByRamen View post
    I think I remember where you're located. I hope the university you're talking about isn't the one with the infamous tower...
    Yep. That'd be the one. In fairness to them, they have made some excellent faculty additions in recent years that do a far better job of preparing students for reality and perform more practical research. They also smoked the usual suspects to get the APA national student planning project award a couple of years ago. But three consecutive bad experiences is difficult to overcome.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  18. #18
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Yep. That'd be the one. In fairness to them, they have made some excellent faculty additions in recent years that do a far better job of preparing students for reality and perform more practical research. They also smoked the usual suspects to get the APA national student planning project award a couple of years ago. But three consecutive bad experiences is difficult to overcome.
    I'm very sorry to hear that...said university being my alma mater. I can't speak to the quality of current students, but based on the faculty that were there a half a decade ago, the lack of professional preparedness makes sense. This was my biggest complaint with the program. Some faculty are outstanding, some were not. Few had any professional practice experience (or at least few demonstrated that they did).

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Dave F's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Yep. That'd be the one. In fairness to them, they have made some excellent faculty additions in recent years that do a far better job of preparing students for reality and perform more practical research. They also smoked the usual suspects to get the APA national student planning project award a couple of years ago. But three consecutive bad experiences is difficult to overcome.
    Quote Originally posted by FueledByRamen View post
    I'm very sorry to hear that...said university being my alma mater. I can't speak to the quality of current students, but based on the faculty that were there a half a decade ago, the lack of professional preparedness makes sense. This was my biggest complaint with the program. Some faculty are outstanding, some were not. Few had any professional practice experience (or at least few demonstrated that they did).
    My wife is a professor at that particular university (not in planning) and the quality of the students there is absurdly all over the map. she has some great stories about things students have done or said, especially in the area of making excuses for poor class performance/attendance.

    Since we're on the topic of interns, some of the stories regarding kids who woked in her lab are especially fun. The best were the guy for whom they had to restrict access to the lab so he wouldn't sample all the drugs and the student who identified himself as a swinger and wanted to extole the virtue of the lifestyle to the female students in the lab at every opportunity

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