Valuable life lessons from our favourite onscreen interns

Brand new Toggle Originals series ‘Run Rachael Run’ introduces us to another onscreen intern to learn from and love

Ying Ying, Alaric and Vernetta
Ying Ying, Alaric and Vernetta
28 Mar 2016

Ying Ying, Alaric and Vernetta

Video: Teng Siew Eng

The first of our Toggle Originals offerings, A Selfie’s Tale, ended its run last week, but we’ve still got loads of made-for-digital productions coming up for your viewing pleasure. Next in line is Run Rachael Run, a 12-webisode comedy that follows the adventures – and misadventures – of Rachael Chow, a marketing student who finds herself stuck interning for a small production company named Cream Makers Inc. (hilariously shortened into CMI).

The show, which is now available on Toggle, is also like an “internship” of sorts for 21-year-old National University of Singapore student Hor Ying Ying, who is making her acting debut as Rachael since being crowned the runner-up of Hey Gorgeous last year. Joining her in the cast are GOLD 905 DJ Vernetta Lopez (as Rachael’s boss Gene), 90s music icon Roy Li (as has-been pop star Sunny Bee), and The Noose stars Alaric Tay and Suhaimi Yusof (as producer Joshua and soundman Azman respectively), all of whom had internship tales of their own to share with us during our visits to the set.

Just like Rachael, Alaric used to intern at a production company, and true to the internship stereotype, he really was the “bao ka liao (do everything) guy”. “We were doing a documentary at that point in time, (and I did) everything from logging shots to transcribing,” said the FLY Entertainment artiste. “I also had a lot of late nights because sometimes our interview subjects could only be shot in the middle of the night.” However, there was one intern staple (at least according to the movies) that he missed out on: “I did everything except make coffee!”

Vernetta, on the other hand, had internships at a few different places, including an advertising company where she confessed to us about having a crush on her boss. Her other gigs were at the radio station where she scored her very first full-time job and as a receptionist, which didn’t sound like a smooth-sailing experience: “(One time) I screwed up the entire system, but let’s not go into that!”

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Roy and Suhaimi
Roy and Suhaimi
28 Mar 2016

Roy and Suhaimi

According to Suhaimi, there was no such thing as an internship in his day (“This makes me sound like a museum piece!”). Instead, he got his start in showbiz by hosting a radio show every week for four years from the age of 16. “A radio programming person spotted me during an interschool debate competition and invited me to present a radio show for students,” he explained. “That was a very long ‘internship’ for me and gave me a good idea of what the industry is like.”

As for Roy, his step into the working world was in an area we least expected: before he officially made a name for himself as a renowned singer/songwriter who penned tracks for the likes of Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung and Jeff Chang, he spent three months as a police intern. Unsurprisingly, he told us that there were lots of interesting happenings, the most outstanding of which would be when he was asked to control traffic at a four-way intersection for the very first time.

“I’m telling you, I really messed up,” he said with a chuckle. “I completely forgot to let one side pass for the duration of three whole red lights! By the time I finally remembered to let them go, I could see them cursing at me from behind their windows. (laughs) That was the scariest moment of my internship, and from then on whenever it rained, I would pray for the traffic lights not to spoil!”

Another frightening incident happened when he was tasked with bringing one of three arrested troublemakers to the station. “I thought I was being smart by taking charge of the smallest guy of the lot, but I was wrong – he turned out to be the most vicious!” Roy recalled. “As soon as we reached the entrance of the police station, he ran away! Then, while I was in the midst of chasing after him, he ambushed me from behind a corner and hit me in the knee, causing me to fall down. While everything went well for my colleagues guarding the two larger-sized ones, I ended up getting injured by the smallest one.”

We think Roy is glad that he eventually made the switch from law enforcement to music.

As we wait to see what kind of shenanigans Rachael finds herself getting caught up in (and how she gets out of them), let’s have a look at other onscreen interns whom we could pick up some valuable life lessons from, even if we’re not slogging it out at the very bottom of our company’s employee food chain:

WATCH: The cast of Run Rachael Run shares their internship stories

Ben Whittaker from The Intern
Ben Whittaker from The Intern
28 Mar 2016

Ben Whittaker from The Intern

Tired and bored with life as a retiree, 70-year-old Ben (Robert De Niro) decides to plunge back into the workforce from the very beginning: as a senior citizen intern. He gets hired at an online clothing store and eventually becomes well-liked by everyone in the office, especially his boss and the company’s CEO Jules (Anne Hathaway), who doubted him at first. As time goes by, he also proves that, thanks to his wisdom and wealth of experience, he’s able to provide lots of good advice and opinions to his “seniors” half his age.

Lesson learned: You’re never too old to try new things, and you shouldn’t let your position – no matter how “low” – determine what you offer to your company, or who you offer it to. Interns can come up with loads of great ideas too!

Photo: United International Pictures

Oh Jin Hee and Oh Chang Min from Emergency Couple
Oh Jin Hee and Oh Chang Min from Emergency Couple
28 Mar 2016

Oh Jin Hee and Oh Chang Min from Emergency Couple

There aren’t many things worse than finding out you’re going to be stuck working closely with your estranged ex-spouse for a few months, and that’s exactly what happens to divorced couple Jin Hee (Song Ji Hyo) and Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk) after they both find internships at the same hospital, six years after their unpleasant split. By the end of the 21 episodes, we see them grow up and mature enough to give their previously failed relationship another go – but since this is a feel-good comedy Korean drama, we can’t say we didn’t see that one coming from a mile away.

Lesson learned: An internship – or any job in general – could be a painful experience at first (for a variety of reasons), but at the end of the day, it could be a blessing in disguise waiting to heal old wounds or change your life for the better.

Photo: TVN

J.D. and Turk from Scrubs
J.D. and Turk from Scrubs
28 Mar 2016

J.D. and Turk from Scrubs

Sure we all love a good romance, but great friendships can be just as, if not even more so, heart-warming, compelling and entertaining. Take J.D. and Turk (Zach Braff and Donald Faison, who also happen to be BFFs in real life as well) for example – their bromance was so tight that it lasted all the way from their early days as troublemaking medical interns to respected senior surgeons, through their respective relationships, marriages and children, and right up until the series’ finale in 2010.

Lesson learned: It helps to have a close pal to confide in – and have fun with! – on the job. It certainly makes the endless slaving away or dealing with unbearable colleagues and superiors a lot easier.

Photo: ABC

Jang Geu Rae from Misaeng
Jang Geu Rae from Misaeng
28 Mar 2016

Jang Geu Rae from Misaeng

The award-winning series, adapted from a popular webtoon, centres on young Geu Rae (Im Si Wan), who manages to clinch an internship at a trading company despite only holding a high school diploma, a fact that makes his co-workers look down on him. As time goes by, he learns that although he lacks a formal business degree or experience, he’s able to use his skills from playing strategy board game Baduk, as well as his natural tendency to be hardworking, to solve problems and survive all kinds of complicated professional relationships.

Lesson learned: Who needs paper qualifications when you have other far more valuables skills – even though they can’t be documented – that can contribute just as greatly to your career?

Photo: TVN

Park Bong Soo from Healer
Park Bong Soo from Healer
28 Mar 2016

Park Bong Soo from Healer

In an attempt to get closer to Chae Young Shin (Park Min Young) so he can keep an eye on her and solve some mysteries about his past, illegal delivery guy Seo Jung Hoo (Ji Chang Wook) goes undercover a la Clark Kent as a bumbling, wide-eyed and fidgety junior reporter at the news company she works at. His behaviour as Park Bong Soo is a complete 180-degree turn from his cool, couldn’t-care-less, butt-kicking persona as the titular Healer, making Young Shin and his other colleagues completely unaware of his real intentions and no-nonsense abilities. After all, the easiest way to go unnoticed and unsuspected is to put yourself right in front of everyone’s noses, especially if you appear much more harmless than you really are.

Lesson learned: Sometimes you have to pretend to be dumber than you are (or at the very least, be humble enough to downplay your true talents) in order to get the job done.

Photos: KBS

Young Carrie Bradshaw from The Carrie Diaries
Young Carrie Bradshaw from The Carrie Diaries
28 Mar 2016

Young Carrie Bradshaw from The Carrie Diaries

It was only a matter of time before someone decided to explore the origins of Sex and the City’s iconic fashionista Carrie Bradshaw. In one episode, we see young Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) sacrificing her precious spring break to blaze on with her internship at a prestigious magazine in the hopes that it will land her a proper, paid job. Although that doesn’t exactly do any favours for her relationship with her boyfriend, we all know where this career-prioritising attitude led her: a lucrative writing career with two of New York’s top publications and a salary that enables her to splurge on lavish living quarters, a designer wardrobe and tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of branded shoes.

Lesson learned: Hustle while you’re still young, even if it means not having as much fun as your peers, or spending less time with your teenage love. It may not seem like the most pleasing decision at first, but in the long run, you’ll probably be more than glad you didn’t have it any other way.

Photo: The CW

Song Nuan from Best Get Going
Song Nuan from Best Get Going
28 Mar 2016

Song Nuan from Best Get Going

The workplace can be a warzone, as depicted (albeit in an exaggerated manner that’s only found in dramas) in Best Get Going, which revolves around fresh grad Song Nuan (Zhao Li Ying) trying to navigate and survive said warzone as an intern. Even as she endures all kinds of nonsense such as a co-worker who sets out to deliberately make her life difficult (before he inevitably ends up falling in love with her) and a tough training session in an actual army camp, she manages to remain oddly positive throughout and by the end of the show, she’s still the same nice girl as before (who has also improved leaps and bounds as an employee).

Lesson learned: It is possible to not turn into a grumpy, jaded person despite being pelted with all kinds of nasty things life sometimes has in store for us.

Sarah Yusoff from Interns
Sarah Yusoff from Interns
28 Mar 2016

Sarah Yusoff from Interns

In the immortal words of supermodel and Project Runway host Heidi Klum, “one day you’re in, the next day you’re out” – a statement that clearly sums up the perilous and volatile nature of the fashion world. When fresh grad Sarah (Lydia Asyikin) scores an internship with a clothing label, she must set aside her insecurities and prove her worth to her seniors by facing all kinds of challenges – from model casting woes to getting kicked out from Fashion Week – in order to secure a permanent job as a bona fide designer. Despite her entry level experience, she already finds herself thrown into the industry’s cutthroat and competitive nature thanks to the presence of two other interns who are out to get the same thing as her.

Lesson learned: While it is important to stay true to yourself through life’s ever-changing trends (as countless feel-good fairy tales have taught us), it is just as crucial to grow and adapt to your surroundings and circumstances, particularly if you want to be able to stand out in a sea of others vying for the same goals as you.

Catch up on past episodes of Suria’s Interns here.

Up next on Run Rachael Run…
Up next on Run Rachael Run…
28 Mar 2016

Up next on Run Rachael Run…

Things are just getting started for Rachael, who is tasked with running auditions for the role of Chinese moon goddess Chang’E for Sunny Bee’s music video. However, things don’t go quite according to plan when she encounters an actor who insists on trying out for a role that’s not part of the casting call.

Unfortunately, that’s just the start of their problems: production for the music video turns out to be much more expensive than expected, and Rachael follows her boss Gene to meet potential sponsors, where she learns just how strange these meetings can be.

Catch two brand new episodes of Run Rachael Run next Monday (April 4)!

Find out more about Run Rachael Run here.
Catch two new episodes of Run Rachael Run every Monday here or binge-watch the entire series with Toggle-It-First.
You can also follow Rachael on Instagram and Twitter for more interesting insights into her internship and life.

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