on the mentee’s end, which exhibits a deep and meaningful occurrence
of personal development. As a result, the mentoring process that
unfolds between these two men supports the claim that mentoring is a
two-way street.
Similarly, in Nancy Meyer's The Intern, the mentor-mentee
connection reflects that of Will and Maguire's in the “classic” form.
There is the experienced elder who commits to aiding the young adult
in finding success but does so in a manner demonstrating that shared
interests and experience can initially inhibit mutual learning. Jules (Anne
Hathaway) is the quintessential type A female. She leads a rigid and
rigorous lifestyle as a successful young entrepreneur woman struggling
to find a healthy balance between her work life and her family life. This
behavior is the result of a blurring of traditional family and work
structures, which unfortunately has become the norm among the
younger generation. The fragmentation of these parts of life leads to a
confusion of social roles and increases the need for proper guidance
(Philip and Hendry 212). Ben Whitaker (Robert De Niro), a traditional,
75-year-old man, is a retired widower who had great success in his
corporate position at the company that years before occupied the space
where Jules’s office is located. This shared location becomes one of the
shared interests between the two individuals that establishes and enables
trust in the relationship. There is a surprising role reversal in this film
because Ben is the intern, but he also turns out to be the mentor.
In a parallel to the way Will is sarcastic and arrogant with
Maguire, Jules is cold and a bit demeaning to Ben, and she does not
want to give him much responsibility at the beginning. Viewers see her
react in this manner because she, like Will, is trying to preserve her
personal safety and self-esteem. At first, Ben messes up this process by
taking his “helpfulness” so far that it makes his mentee feel as though
she is being threatened by his work and is inadequate in fulfilling what
needs to be accomplished for her business to flourish. This results in
push back and distancing between the two, something that calls for the
mentor to rethink and reshape his approach. It is important for a
mentor to recognize that their mentee will initially be resentful and
Previous Page Next Page