Recently, Allison wrote a blog post about what to do if an intern isn’t doing their best. I think we should also talk about what to do if your internship experience isn’t the best. Unfortunately, even though every internship posted on our site must be approved by a staff member, some internships are not what you were hoping they would be.
Remember it’s temporary
Internships are great because they are only temporary, which allows you to see what work environments you do or don’t like. Some days will be harder than others, but remember that you don’t have to be there forever. Take every opportunity you can to learn and network as much as you can. Just because you don’t like the place you are at doesn’t mean the experience is a waste of time.
Don’t burn any bridges
You might think that because you’re “just an intern” you can …
I’ve been with Indiana INTERNnet for almost three years, but every once in a while, I make a mistake. It may be a small typo in an email, forgetting to follow up with a voicemail or messing up the formatting in a PowerPoint presentation. Humans aren’t perfect! I quickly own up to the mistake, correct it and move on.
That’s why when interns make mistakes, it’s very important to realize that no one, not even yourself, is capable of delivering perfect work 100% of the time. For most interns, an internship is their very first experience working in a professional setting. Many things are new to them, so they need the freedom to learn and grow from their mistakes. However, what should you do when your interns mistakes become a bigger issue? Here are some examples:
You noticed your intern posting inappropriate things on their social media channels
If you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts throughout the summer (and now into the fall) you’ll see that I often mention how so much learning happens outside of the classroom. Internships, for example, allow students to be a part of the workforce and get hands-on experience before they graduate. While I understand the important roles school and education play in our lives, it should be noted that learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom.
You’re dressed, but is it to impress?
While in college you’re basically able to show up in whatever you want. Interning is different. You don’t get to have comfy days with t-shirts and sweatshirts. While you’re at work, you must follow the dress code every day. This also applies for interviews and beyond. Make sure that everyone who sees you can tell that you’re there for a reason.
It wasn’t until …
This summer has been such an amazing experience at Indiana INTERNnet. I have been so incredibly lucky to work with such amazing people and learn so much along the way. Between seeing behind the scenes of event preparation and learning how to correctly navigate the workplace, this summer has been the best learning opportunity. While learning in the classroom is important, there are some things that can’t be learned while listening to a lecture.
The Importance of Connections
Of course, meeting new people and expanding your circle of people is important. But it wasn’t until I got an internship that I realized how important networking really is. You never know who can help you get ahead or if someone you know has the perfect job for you. It’s important that you continue to grow your connections and keep up with the relationships that you make.
Asking Questions Only Makes You …
Purdue University rising senior Emily Sclafani joined Matchbook as a Communications intern this summer, before going back to complete her major in public relations and strategic communication. At Purdue, Emily is a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, public relations officer for the Purdue Italian Club, and is in Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Dance is one of her passions, and she’s a member of the dance company Higher Ground at Purdue. With Matchbook, Emily learned more about public relations strategy and technique as they function in the real world, as well as translating her skill sets and knowledge to create meaningful work for clients that have a purpose.
An intern’s greatest fear is that they will spend their summer making coffee trips and doing busy work. At Matchbook, that is not the case. Right from the start, we were given real, hands-on work for …