Believe it or not, sometimes an internship doesn’t work out or isn’t as exciting as you expected. Naturally, you will start your internship full of excitement about what lies ahead, but in reality it may not be as glamorous or fun filled as you imagined.
Just because the reality of your internship doesn’t live up to what you had in mind, doesn’t mean it won’t be a positive experience. You will learn from any experience in the real world and it will ultimately make you stronger, but there are a number of things you can do to try to make the most of a disappointing internship. Here are my top 4 picks.
1. Find Like Minded People
Do not go into your internship thinking it’s not a place to make friends. If you’re interested in this area, chances are the people you will be working with will share the same interests and goals as you. So do not ignore the people you are working with.
If you’re internship isn’t living up to what you thought it would be, then this is even more of a reason for you to seek out these people. Some of the people you meet during your internship could become part of your professional network in the future, so it is important that you use this access to make some great connections.
You never know where these connections could lead.
2. Look For A Mentor
As well as connecting with like minded people, you should find a mentor in your internship. This is especially true if you feel you aren’t getting as much as you hoped from the role.
If you’re wondering how to do this, why not look for someone you admire in the company? This could be someone who works in a role you would like after you finish college. See if they would be willing to take you under their wing and show you how things are done at the company.
The best thing about having a mentor is you will learn… A LOT! Look closely at how your mentor does things and try to learn from them. Having a mentor who knows what they are doing is the best way to get ahead and maximize your internship.
3. Take An Interest
For some reason, many people have a false misconception that interns aren’t as dedicated to their job as a full-time worker.
This may be true to an extent. You are not currently a full-time employee and don’t have a long-term future with the company, but this may not always be the case. There are many interns who are eager to gain experience and make a good impression. Some may even want to secure a full-time position with the company in the future.
Most interns really do care and work hard to impress and make sure they do everything right. But sometimes people mess up. We’re all human after all, and this may not even be your fault. There may have been some mix up in communication that led to some wires getting crossed.
When something like this happens, most interns ignore the issue rather than facing up to it. Other people in the company will think ignoring your mistake means you don’t care. So rather than trying to let your mistakes go unnoticed, if you mess up (or even if you don’t) why don’t you ask people how they want things done? It’s okay to ask for help at your internship.
Taking the initiative to ask questions, will show that you want to do the best job you possibly can and will be sure to impress.
4. Stay Positive
Even if you think your internship is horrible and won’t pay off in the long run, you need to stay positive. It’s a temporary situation. And it will pay off!
All you have to do is survive 12 weeks, use the time to your benefit and keep pushing forward. The most important thing for you is to stay positive, especially at work. If you’re feeling frustrated, leave that frustration at the door.
If you need to vent, vent to a friend or family member and always remember to keep it professional (and positive) at work.
One of the biggest benefits of your internship could be that it may teach you a lot about what you don’t want, and help you realize what you do want. It will also put you in a stronger position for any job you want in the future. It will pay off, so work hard, make friends, take initiative, and remember positivity is key.