“It’s a tough year to launch your career—as recent college graduates and interns are about to discover firsthand.” — Forbes, April 27, 2020

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Welcome to our growth marketing team, and congrats on emerging victorious from the nationwide talent sweepstakes to become our newest virtual intern at one of the most exciting startups in the world.

You outshined other hungry young college grads and their newly laid-off millennial counterparts with your critical thinking skills and an uncanny ability to properly light yourself from the confines of your childhood bedroom.

Just because you’ll be coming at us from your stepdad’s laptop in Draper, Utah, doesn’t mean your free labor is any less valuable. You can expect the same fantastic hours, riveting tasks, and financial security as your IRL predecessors. I’m never going to ask you to get me coffee. After all, you’re thousands of miles away and if you ever did touch my Yeti I’d throw it directly into the trash.

While we are unable to provide health insurance during this unstable economic time, your safety and the preservation of our $14M war chest in venture capital is our top priority. Having you in uncompensated stealth mode is for the best anyway. Our open-concept garage space proved lethal once the virus hit. RIP, HR. Series A was rough.

We can process everything at our monthly book club, which you will be organizing and running. Our next selection is either by Anne Lamott or Peter Thiel. We’re also going to have you join our Facebook group and pretend to be a very satisfied single father of three who is definitely still alive and thriving.

We created the Intern from Home program as a learning opportunity both for you and Armistead, our proprietary AI software. Interns make mistakes and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, the shame related to human error is key to developing the technology that will replace you. It has to do with rapid eye movements and flatulence. We’ll get deeper into that after you sign your DNR. Did I say DNR? I meant NDA. A very standard non-disclosure agreement, typical here in startup land.

Suffice it to say your usernames, email signature, and office nickname will be DATH. Typically, we would call you “Thad the Intern,” based on your first name and worth as a person, but our lead graphic designer is also named Thad and is also an intern. We were going to call you Remote Thad, but then we realized graphic designer Thad is remote as well. It was getting confusing. DATH doesn’t stand for anything, by the way. It’s just your name screamed backwards.

On any other first day, you’d now head out to our warehouse in the back of our founder’s Jeep to pack boxes and see where the magic happens. She sometimes forgets her wallet and needs a Diet Coke from the nearby gas station. The good news is that because you aren’t physically here you have no need to move at all.

Lunch orders are in the #lunch channel and snack orders in the #snacks channel. Post reimbursement requests under #moonshots. Have everything sent directly to our home addresses, pay for expedited delivery, and make sure to stay on top of the queue. If I need anything I’ll text you directly, not via Slack. We don’t know who all is on there.

And sorry, bud: no office means no free Waterloo or leftover tacos in the break room. Only breadless compliment sandwiches for you. If you want a meat stick or a pack of roasted seaweed, you’ll have to put on your big boy pants and send your mom to the grocery store the next time it’s safe to leave the house. No one said doing keto in quarantine was easy.

Your contribution matters in these uncertain times. If starting my own career during the Great Recession taught me anything, and it really didn’t, it’s that no matter how bad things get out there, businesses are always looking for unpaid workers to do the menial tasks no one else wants to do. Just put your head down and do the work. You’ll be shocked at how quickly the years go by. We’re in this together.

Please don’t hesitate to ping me if you have any questions like, “But what is my actual job?” The short answer is I have no idea.