I was an intern. For four years I interned at two Bay Area agencies. I answered mail, e-mail, sent form rejections, read manuscripts, wrote pitches, and even sent some clients out on submission. You probably don’t remember any of that, and that is because I never talked about it. The first rule of interning has always been that you never talk about interning. It goes on your resume, not social media.
I have my own awesome intern. A lot of agencies keep their intern identities secret but I (and I was allowed at Kimberly Cameron) allow John to say that he does things for me. What John and I don’t do is say exactly what he does for me (besides making me coffee, which he can’t do but I would totally dig that).
Recently I’ve been seeing interns crop up on Twitter doing #askagent, #pubtips, and #tenqueries. I would have been fired for doing this and rightly so. Even while I was an assistant agent I didn’t dare. I didn’t know enough about what I was talking about to give really well thought out answers. I still at times refer to other agents before answering a question.
Writers, interns are not gatekeepers to get to the agent. Most agents, regardless of whether their interns know or not, check in on their own stuff. Most agents do not want their interns giving you advice. And interns are not cooler than anyone else, nor do they need to be put up on a pedestal.
As Lady Grantham would say, these youngsters should stop giving themselves airs.
The point of this entire ramble is this: make sure you are getting advice from a reputable source who has spent time in the trenches and has moved up to work as an agent.