After weeks of searching, applying and interviewing, you finally receive an internship offer! You’re super excited about the projects you’re going to complete and the people you’ll be working with. However, after the first month of interning, you realize that your role and responsibilities are not what you expected. You might feel like your skills are not being utilized or developed, but what can you do?
Talk to your internship supervisor
Your supervisor is the person who is tasked with providing you with the resources you need to have a successful internship. If you’re unhappy, they’re the first person you should speak with. Review your internship’s description, and if it doesn’t match up with the work you’re doing, let them know.
Express your eagerness to take on more projects. Then, work with your supervisor to come up with a workplan so you have a structured outline of what you should be doing. This meeting will be a great way to strengthen your connection with your supervisor, and enhance your communication skills.
Talk to your school’s internship coordinator
If your internship is for credit, and you’re still struggling after meeting with your supervisor, you should talk to your school’s internship coordinator. Explain to them what you’re currently doing at your internship and what you were promised you’d be working on when you were offered the position. They can offer advice, or they may even step in and speak with your internship supervisor.
Talk to your peers
If your organization has multiple interns, meet with some of them and see if they’re experiencing what you’re going through. During the meeting, brainstorm ways that you could work together to benefit your organization. Let your supervisor know about any ideas you come up with. This will show that you have initiative, and hopefully they’ll be able to provide you with the resources to make your ideas come to life.
Internships are all about developing skills outside of the classroom that you can utilize in a future career. If that isn’t happening at your internship, make sure you speak up. No one will be able to realize you’re unhappy if you don’t tell them!