6 Types of Interns in Singapore

6 Types of Interns in Singapore

6 Types of Interns in Singapore

When students sign up for their internships in Singapore, they come in all shapes and sizes.  Observing them navigating through their usual workday routines is like watching a documentary of a particular species on the National Geographic channel.  Interns are just a broad way to classify these life-forms. There are many sub-categories to group the usual characteristics that govern the behaviour of these creatures as they go through their Singapore internship stint.


1.  The Blur Cock

blur cock

This is the most common type of intern.  Most interns enter the workforce in this category – The Blur Cock.  Some will get out of this category and evolve into another type of intern.  Some, sadly, remain in this group … forever.  Those who are forever stuck in the group should never be considered for a permanent placement in the company.  Unless your company is a non-profit organisation with a CEO like Mother Teresa who constantly likes to hold the hands of children and teach them how to push buttons of the photocopier machine patiently.


The Blur Cock can be easily distinguished.  ( By the way, when I say Blur Cock, I am not being sexist, females that have the characteristics also fall into this category!)  The typical Blur Cock has a permanent “Huh?” look on his face.  He also likes to start conversations with opening phrases like  “How do I ____________(insert task in blank) ?”  or  ” Who do I look for to  ____________ (insert task in blank)?”  Any task handed over to the Blur Cock to be done, will eventually be redone by you or someone else.  If not, the Blur Cock will stumble around and produce a half-assed piece of work that will put you back on your migraine medication.

If you are a manager who finds your work too easy and not very challenging, having a Blur Cock in your team will allow you to experience the joys of fire-fighting every day.


2.  The Overzealous Intern

overzealous intern


The Overzealous Intern is probably the kind you want to hire.  They are the alpha of the species.  The real go-getters.  They like to over-promise and over-deliver.  They are energizer bunnies who complete task after task like with the effectiveness of robots.  If the Egyptians hired an army of Overzealous Interns, the pyramids would probably be built within a week.

Photocopy 1000 memos? No problem!

Make coffee for the entire department?  Yes boss!

Having an Overzealous Intern around is like having a platoon of admin assistants.  Hire one to do the work of ten and pay him the salary of a quarter.  Cost Efficiency and Productivity at the snap of your fingertips!  The Overzealous Intern also craves for long work days and over-time, so make sure you fulfill his job expectations by dumping tonnes of work into his inbox at about 5pm every weekday, especially Friday.  You don’t want him to feel purposeless, do you? Be the boss that he will sacrifice his life for!


3.  Like a Boss

like a boss

Speaking of bosses, you might want to watch out for these group of interns.  These are the problematic kind.  After 1 week in the work place, they suddenly behave like silver-back gorillas, giving orders to the poor cleaning lady or telling your secretary to do his menial tasks.  He might also prey on interns that come in later.  Not only will he try to give the newer interns work to do, he will also give them feedback and evaluate them based on their work. The Blur Cock that you hired one week ago is now strutting around Like a Boss Cock.  (Wait what?)

You can spot warning signals of these type of interns in the early stages of interview.  They would be talking non-stop about their ‘leadership’ skills.  Chief Boy Scout in Primary 3, Dota Team Captain of Clan YOLO, Orientation group-in-charge of Hall XYZ.  They are overconfident, talk-loudly and sit with their legs wide open.

If you do not put them in place, a few more weeks later they will become a full-blown disease.  You might be sitting at your desk, working hard on a task, and this Intern might casually walk past you one day and give you a pat on the shoulder and say, “Good job buddy.”


4.  Golden Horse Award Actor

golden horse award

“Yeah, and I would like to thank my shifu for teaching me how to fake my way through life.”


The Golden Horse Actor is the hardest Intern to spot… because he can take on the look of the Overzealous Intern or a normal intern.  He will ace the interview, give a good impression, and be rather likable in the office.  He will be carrying out his tasks, doing normal stuff, fitting in well… except, you soon start to realise… Heck, you haven’t given him any work to do!!!


That’s right Mr Big Boss Man.  You just fell for the grand illusion created by the Golden Horse Actor.  He is deep into the character he is playing.  He will always carry a stack of files wherever he goes.  He will constantly be frowning and staring at his computer and muttering to himself under his breath, as if solving a problem.  He will walk in big strides, fast and with a purpose.  He will engage co-workers with talk about how busy he is.  He may even stay back for over-time just to create the image of being important and busy.

So how do you spot these kind of interns?

Simple, don’t give him any work or give him a task that can be easily completed within minutes, and watch how he behaves.


5. Slacker

someone else just do it

This group of interns are the total opposite of the Golden Horse Actors.  While the Golden Horse Actors constantly maintain their image, this group of Slackers just can’t be bothered to even keep up with the act.  They are the easiest to suss out simply because they will be blatantly surfing Facebook during office hours and chatting with their friends.  Yes, they probably won’t even bother to turn down the Facebook notification sound that signals a message being received. They will also come to work late, go for 2 hour lunches and disappear from the office the moment the second hand ticks to 6pm.  Whenever you walk past their desk, you will probably see them on websites like Stomp.com, Hardwarezone, Mashable or reading some lame ass article on how to follow your passion on Elite Daily.

These Slackers will also avoid you at all costs, since they are allergic to work.  Even if you manage to grab hold of one of them to do your menial tasks, they will take an exceptionally long time to complete it.  If a Slacker sneaks past your interview…



6.  Zombie Intern


Zombie Interns usually start appearing during the last few weeks of internship.  They can evolve from any of the earlier categories listed earlier.  Time spent on long commutes, staring at the screen and poring over documents have sucked away their soul and ambition.  They stop questioning their life’s purpose and simply go through the day-to-day motions of being a human, except they are not.  You know when your intern has become a zombie when you see his emotionless ‘smile’, his glazed eyes, and his usual enthusiastic strides have been replaced by lifeless shuffling.  He does not work with the fervour that you once noticed months ago.  He laughs soullessly and engages in mind-numbing talk about trivialities like how the train was moving so slowly that day.



Strangely, the Zombie Intern is the hardest to spot in Singapore.  That’s because he fits in so well with the Raffles Place office crowd.  Look into the mirror immediately after reading this… have you yourself been one all this while? How have your internship singapore experiences been? Do share with us!



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  1. Kel

    While working for a local IT company there was a guy who was posted to our team to fire fight by the boss. We are up to our foreheads with work that we OT 3-4hours every day. So this guy sits in the team, we delegate tasks over to him and we continue with our work. After awhile we realise he was gone, maybe go toilet or get a cup of coffee. So we went back to our own work, then we realised he was gone for like 20-30mins. After not noticing him for awhile, he suddenly appeared on the desk working. When quizzed on where he went, his reply was “I didn’t go anywhere, I’m here all the while.” This happened many times in a single day. From that day on, his code name was given as Ninja.

    1. The Bf (Post author)

      What high – level skill is that?

      Ninja Intern!

      Scary thing is – I used to know full-time staff like that at work also. They can disappear for half a day or one whole day and the whole team will be looking for them, call them no reply. And then they will suddenly appear and say they were busy on site all the while. We know that’s not true because we were combing the site for them!

      Ghost Workers…

      Suddenly, I am inspired for another work related post…


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