Are there summer internships for seniors

Why Livio, as a pensioner, did another internship in an advertising agency

Is this man extremely arrogant or rather smart? Mathias Schürmann, co-owner of the Swiss advertising agency Rocket, was faced with this question when he was holding Livio Arfini's internship application in his hand. He replied to the request for an over 65 internship: “Good idea. Am interested. I'm not writing an application, but I would introduce myself. "

The Lucerne-based company advertised the position in question in January of last year. It was supposed to be a kind of experiment for the company, whose employees are between 17 and 44 years old: Since many of their customers were targeting an audience of over 60, the advertising agency wanted an older woman or an older man bring them into the team. The agency was completely serious about what might seem like a marketing gag at first glance. Without further ado, the employees * produced a video under the motto Too young to feed the birds, with whom they were looking for retirees who wanted to experience something again. Duration of the internship: three months. The company deliberately only placed the ad online.

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Experience something again at 68

Livio was 68 years old at the time, had been retired for four years and was enjoying life. Rode his bike or ski and loved reading. “My partner always said I should do something, she's still working,” he explains why he even applied for the internship at the time. In an online newspaper he came across the advertisement for the over 65 intern. He was attracted by the idea of ​​going back to young people, maybe being able to give a young company some of his professional experience. By the time he retired, he had worked as a training manager at a large department store chain for 25 years and was responsible for 400 apprentices. Without further ado, he sent his - now notorious - message. “I thought, people don't like reading and you have to stand out. My message was nice and crisp. ”Two weeks later, the agency invited him for an interview.

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Mathias has meanwhile received over 20 applications. Obviously, some retirees still felt called to try something new, the oldest candidate was 78 years old. “There were also people who were previously marketing managers in international corporations. But we decided against inviting someone with relevant experience, because it was about an internship, ”he reports.

We did a little stress test during the interview and used it. ”- Agency co-owner Mathias

At the first meeting, Mathias, 25 years younger than Livio by the way, treated him like every applicant who comes to the agency: “We did a little stress test during the interview and used it. Hello Livio, I am Mathias. But he was totally relaxed about it and in a way he enjoyed it. ”The two hit it off right away. Even when they talk about it now, it sounds like a happy couple is indulging in their story. Livio has been hired.

For Livio it was the first internship of his life. In the past, internships weren't the big challenge, he explains. His friends could only shake their heads about his plan: “'Is he crazy? What shoud that? You never go through with that! ‘I was 68 at the time and those around me couldn't imagine whether that would work.“ But Livio looked at it all calmly, an attribute that, by the way, describes him not only in relation to this situation. Nervous before the first day? “No, no, I didn't have that. I'm too savvy for that. I had nothing to lose, I just did it for fun. "

Learned from life: composure and sovereignty

In the following three months, Livio went to the office at half past eight (loft, of course) and went home at half past six in the evening. His tasks as an intern: operate internal programs, write offers and invoices, work on pitches. “Starting point, setting goals was something I knew from before. It's exciting to be able to do something like this again in a completely different industry. ”Although not a digital native, Livio was already fit in Word and Power Point, was involved in shootings, brainstorming sessions and presentations and took on a project for the 65 plus target group. Livio noticed that he already had work experience less with certain tasks than in general: “I have a certain calm and have never let myself be driven mad.” He also got involved directly, gave “input”, as Livio - quite agency spokesman - it says: "I suggested that we could set up a few standards on how to answer the phone and I also suggested how we could receive new employees."

Mathias felt the 68 years of life experience right from the start: “A lot of things were quite normal for him. Younger interns, for example, are more reluctant to go to the boss. ”Mathias believes that the colleagues would have benefited above all from Livio's sovereignty:“ Whenever we asked Livio whether he had a short time, he said: 'If I have one in life, then it's time. 'He was never stressed. "At the same time, Livio had the feeling that his colleagues might approach him more freely than a younger employee who still has to prove himself:" It wasn't a competitive situation. It wasn't that anyone thought I could take something away. That had a positive effect. "

Does age matter?

Livio cannot remember a situation in which he would have felt noticeably older than his colleagues. On the contrary: “They had an apprentice who was exactly 50 years younger than me and we worked well together. The idea was to learn from each other. ”The fact that the roles were reversed in his previous job didn't bother him:“ I just went along with the game. Now I was just the one who was told what to do. ”You shouldn't feel superior. Agency co-owner Mathias finds another possible reason for the relaxed cooperation: "He is a creative person, age is not really a sign of that."

When we went to lunch together as an agency, people always immediately thought that he was the boss and that he would pay the bill. ”- Agency co-owner Mathias

Even if Livio did not stand out from the young team through his habits, he gave a surprising image for the people from the outside. "When we went to lunch together as an agency, people always immediately thought that he was the boss and that he would pay the bill," reports Mathias with a laugh. The customers would have always been a bit puzzled, but reacted with pleasure.

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In retrospect, Livio is most amazed at how quickly he got back into a working rhythm. After all, he had no daily structure beforehand and was only inspired by the weather in his activities. The same applies to him now: “I no longer make fixed appointments, not even at the hairdresser's, for example. When I feel like it's a day my hair needs grooming, I'll go into town and find one. "

A year later and still in touch

The internship was almost a year ago, Livio and the advertising agency are in contact. Today he works for the company on a project basis from time to time, dropping in there every now and then. In retrospect, however, a career in advertising would probably not have been Livio's lifelong dream. “I don't think I would have been a good recruiter. You have to be a bit of a rascal, ”he says with a laugh. Livio will be 70 years old in three months. He would do an internship again at any time: “You should offer that more, not just in an advertising agency. The capital that older people still have in them could be better used. ”One question, however, remains: Would this take away a job from young people? Mathias sees it calmly, after all, for example, Livio's position would have been created for an intern aged 65+. He looks more at the advantages: “A good team needs men and women, old and young people, and if possible different cultures.” In the end, at best, everyone benefits from it.