Hey fine people, if youve been an intern you’ll absolutely know how anxious you were before you reported for your first internship. Comes along with beams of optimism, enlightenment and happiness. They carry the promise of a positive future.
And then you get there. Quickly, you realize your internship isn’t exactly what you expected it to be. Frankly, it’s kind of disappointing. Reality check, duude, you’re at the bottom of the corporate food chain.
To add on, more and more colleges requiring internships before graduation, this is a recipe for disaster, or more realistically, a vicious cycle in which college students are forced to take internships that deplete their bank accounts in the hopes of a payoff down the road, which is definitely not a guarantee.
Most of us, an internship is our first encounter with the real world. It will probably be your first time to spend an entire day wearing a neat bright coloured shirt buttoned up and a pair of sensible shoes(2-inch ankle boots for girls). You imagine eagerly going to work 15 minutes early. You can’t wait to get in there and get a head start on your career.
Honestly speaking, you’re not going to be able to save the world in your first week. With your name being “Intern” being reminded of your status more often. While you will hopefully be entrusted to do actual work, chances are you will be given a lot of clerical work as well. In case you didn’t know, the real world entails a lot of photocopying, paper filing and tea fetching as some times you’re sent to buy KDFs for your (bosses). It just so happens that some a good bit of that work will fall onto your desk.
Getting your hands on real work takes a lot of responsibility. As an intern, you haven’t proven yourself of being capable of handling the heavy stuff. You will have to deal with the grunt work as a rite of passage into being a real employee. Ideally what you can do is proof your self worth so that your boss can be convinced to give you more meatier jobs.
However unfortunate it may be, I’ve been a former intern in 4 unpaid positions. Granted, one was a Audio production assistant in a certain radio, and one is billed as a customer experience surveyor at different branches of a pharmacy , but for the early mornings and purposes, they have been real world experiences that have not paid a dime. So,I met fantastic people and have great references from those positions, as well as awesome experience.
The one great thing about unpaid internships is that while you get to experience the industry and do real world work, since the company isn’t paying you, there is a large focus on learning on the job, which was extremely useful.
Before you begin your internship with stars in your eyes, remember that interning is often about paying your crunchy work. So here, this is what I got since I left my 4th internship.
So you can nip these problems;
For the case of when you think you’re doing nothing constructive;
You can ask your boss if there are any projects that he or she is tackling that you can work on. It’s natural to have a lot of free time when you’re an intern. Sure, there is probably a lot of work to do around the office but it’s possible that it’s not work that an intern would be able to do.
It could also be that your boss has a lot on his or her own plate and has completely overlooked your workload. If there’s no work for you, try to create work for yourself. Chances are there are some stagnant projects on your boss’ to-do list that you can start working on yourself. Or maybe you can ask other members of your team that need some help on their own projects.
There’s also this chance that you can also propose projects that you can do on your own. These projects can showcase your capabilities so that your boss can trust you with bigger tasks too.
Two fine people, you have no clear plan or rather you haven’t received enough guidance.
If you’re confused about how you should accomplish your tasks, always ask. Never be afraid to ask questions! Your boss probably thinks that you already know what to do and that his/her instructions were clear enough. So let your boss know that you need additional guidance for your project. If you’re keen to know about your job performance, ask your boss about giving you evaluations. This will help you learn about your strengths and weaknesses as an employee.
If you haven’t done it yet, request your boss for some time and talk to your boss about having a training plan for the remainder of your internship. Or at least talk to him/her about the things you want to learn or achieve so that your boss also knows what to teach you and how to guide you. As your internship progresses, progress meetings so that you can both see if you are on track. Always make sure that you communicate with your boss and that you are both on the same page when it comes to your internship.
And this major one, Your internship doesn’t pay
Here, the scenario doesn’t apply to everyone. Most internships these days are unpaid. Some interns are lucky enough to get compensation but it’s mostly because the workload is heavier than the usual internship or maybe the work entails a lot of expenses.
Ideally, you should sort out stipend issues before the start of your internship. If you’re encountering unseen expenses such as transportation costs for running errands or buying materials for projects, you should talk to your boss about getting additional assistance to cover for the expenses.
The point here is compensation is in experience, not monetary value. Now, I completely stand by internships and the experience they provide. You developed excellent contacts and relationships through the internships and realized they are crucial for entry-level jobs and taking the next step in a professional career.
However, this brings about the problem; talented students are working for companies that ten years ago, paid employees were doing the same tasks, except now they get slapped with an “Intern Ann” name tag and receive college credit instead of cash.
So 4, You’re doing mindless work
First try to do your best with the tasks given to you at work. You have to hustle and prove your worth then hopefully, your boss will trust you enough to give you meatier roles.
But if all you’re doing is clerical work and you’re not really doing anything valuable or educational, try to talk to your supervisor about it. You want to leave your internship with new insights and skills, so work with your boss on ensuring that you will do relevant work. Volunteer your help with some projects that your team is working on. You can propose to work on a solo project to cap off your internship experience.
Fifth you’ll experienced this? That you’re not getting any guidance
As an intern, it’s likely that you don’t know anything at work. But you wouldn’t want to stay that way for theYou get left out of meetings or work discussions
Being an intern, you’re kind of part of the company, but not really. You will work on things alongside other employees but there are simply some things that you won’t be a part of, such as meetings. Oftentimes, confidential matters are discussed at these meetings and you just don’t have the clearance to know these things. Aside from this, meetings are nebulous by nature and adding more people can further complicate them and drag them out longer.
While they may not allow you to participate at meetings, you can ask to be a silent observer. Ask if you can come along to a few key meetings just to see how projects are formulated, strategized and implemented. Tell your boss that you just want to get a complete picture of how things work at an office environment.However, make sure you don’t disrupt the proceedings and do what you told them you would do.
6. Your hours are longer than originally advertised
If you didn’t discuss work hours with your boss during the initial interview, make sure to bring up the topic as soon as possible. This can be asked with a brief, “What are the hours for this position?” either in person or via email. That said, understand that your hours aren’t necessarily set in stone. One of the best ways to stand out at your internship is to arrive early and stay late, especially when you’re working on a big project.
If you don’t have a stipend but you find yourself shelling out your personal funds to cover work expenses, ask your boss for a reimbursement. There shouldn’t be a problem with reimbursing these expenses as long as you keep official receipts, so make sure to ask your boss or the finance department how the reimbursement process goes. Your internship is one of the best ways you can prepare for life in the real world. It’s the closest you can get to an actual job without actually taking on the workload of a full-time employee. Make the most of what is given to you and if you encounter any of these internship problems, do what you can to turn these problems into opportunities. Good luck, intern!
It’s one thing to score your dream internship. It’s quite another thing to have the dream match the reality. During the first few days of summer, you might find that you’re becoming an expert on ordering venti skim lattes instead of gaining the learning experience you had hoped for. Or maybe you were expecting a jam-packed schedule, but your boss doesn’t give you enough work to keep you busy.
If you’re truly unable to take on more hours, ask your boss if he or she has a few free minutes to discuss your schedule. Explain that you had expected a certain number of hours and are unable to put in more time and let her know why. Offer to let her know if your schedule changes and make sure to follow up if it does.
7. You’re given more busy work and less “real” work than you anticipated
Interning isn’t always as exciting as it looked on The Hills. “Interns are often given what amounts to overflow work that the regular staff doesn’t have time to handle. It isn’t the most glamorous, but oftentimes it’s the reality of the deal. Realize that there may be some mundane tasks, work through those tasks quickly, ask for more challenging work and you’re likely to get it!
It’s important to look at your internship with perspective. You may not be able to write the cover story for the magazine, but you might be able to contribute story research or fact-check the piece. Those tasks aren’t busy work – they’re crucial for the production of the magazine! When you’re consistently receiving real assignments, it’s not so terrible to spend an hour sorting mail or running an errand for the company.
8. You don’t get along well with your boss right away.You might not be BFFs with your boss, no matter how much you rock as an intern. But a positive relationship with your boss can go a long way towards making your internship into a great experience.
Some people are not engaging at first, so you have to learn how to read a personality and figure out how to interact with that person however much it’ll take time.
One way to speed up the process is to figure out the best way to interact with your boss. Does he or she prefer you to ask questions face to face or via email? Does he or she invite you to lunch, or are you expected to eat by yourself or with other interns? Observe these basic details during your first few days in the office for a summer of smooth sailing.
9.You don’t get along well with the other interns right away
Don’t stress if you and the other interns don’t hit it off right away. Just like getting to know your boss, this takes time. You’ll likely spend a lot of time with the other interns, including collaborating on the same projects, so it shouldn’t be too tough to get to know them on a professional basis. The next step requires putting yourself out there a bit invite them to lunch! It’s a quick, easy way to get to know them on a personal level, too.
Take the time to hang out a bit after work or on weekends so you can get to know each other better and find someone with whom you connect. It’s an opportunity to build relationships that may become important down the line.
Remember, your fellow interns will be vying for the same jobs after graduation and you might even end up working together at some point in the future. Establishing positive relationships with your peers now can only help you down the road.
Lastly, you’re overwhelmed with work and might not have adequate training
When your work is too tough, it’s important to let someone know as soon . You’re only setting yourself up for failure if you don’t take steps to catch up! And besides, it’s not uncommon for interns to feel unprepared, as interns replace entry-level positions at many companies.
Before you bug your boss with every minor question, do your homework. Research your question online, check any manual or guides you were given by the company, and ask other interns if they know how to solve the problem. If it’s a matter of learning a new skill, check out a book on the subject or see if you can find step-by-step guides online. If you’ve done all the things and you’re still lost, it’s time to talk to your boss.
Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification when you don’t understand something or ask to slow the pace a bit. Oftentimes, interns are afraid to speak up because they believe they will be judged harshly for not being able to keep up or they are afraid they will not appear smart. Sometimes you have to remind your supervisors that this is new territory for you. They are on autopilot a lot of the time. A gentle request for a little more direction often helps.
Hey loves remember to follow your girl!