Internships can be an incredible learning experience but you will only get out of the opportunity as much as you put into it. Many interns learn this lesson the hard way and leave at the end of summer with regrets. That doesn’t have to be you! Just avoid the following common intern mistakes to ensure a worthwhile, regret-free internship.
- Failing to ask questions or ask for more work. Asking questions is a great way to show your supervisors that you are really trying to learn and want to make the most out of your internship. Never be afraid to ask a question if you are confused about a task. Also, if you run out of work, don’t assume it’s just free time to browse Facebook or Instagram on your phone. Ask for something more to do! Actively seeking more work is very impressive and will help you stand out among other interns.
- Getting frustrated or complaining about being bored. Most internships start slow and will build as employers begin to get a sense of your capabilities. You may wonder how being exceptional at photocopying and errand-running impacts your ability to do higher-level work. However, if you excel at the smaller tasks and don’t complain, you have a better chance of getting assigned more interesting tasks you can add to your portfolio.
- Neglecting to network. As an intern, it is crucial to establish key relationships that can assist you in learning over the course of your internship. Take advantage of any down time to start conversations with co-workers and learn about their careers and get good advice. Never think, “I’m just an intern.” You are now a part of the team and it is important to make yourself known.
- Dressing inappropriately. If it appears like you’re dressing for a class rather than a job, you’ll give off the vibe that you don’t take your internship seriously. Pay attention to how the higher-ups in your office dress and mirror their level of formality.
- Leaving without a trace. Before your internship is over, make your mark by giving hand-written thank-you notes to all of your co-workers. Schedule time with your boss to sit down and discuss future employment opportunities and a recommendation letter.
Internships have become a crucial and necessary stepping-stone for college students across the country. In today’s competitive society, it is imperative that you take the experience seriously and avoid mistakes that could hinder this amazing learning opportunity.
For more information on this subject visit: