This is the next installment in my internships series – and an important one to consider. Not every internship is going to be what you imagined, and it’s important to still act professional even if the company isn’t!
As tempting as it is to quit, or just completely go ghost and never show up again, honor your commitment to the company and stick things out. Internships after all are temporary, and poor experiences teach you a lot more than you would think. Learning how to work in a situation you wouldn’t prefer is a valuable experience- in your career there will surely be positions and companies you do not enjoy. You might not have a choice but to stick it out for one reason or another, so you might as well start practicing doing your best in a poor circumstance.
Talk to Your Supervisor
If something is bothering you, for instance you need some time off to work on homework or you feel you aren’t being given appropriate work, ask your supervisor if you can talk. More often than not, whatever is bothering you can be addressed by just talking to your supervisor. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to them directly, maybe a coworker can offer advice or help to get you what you need.
You are a student
Not all classes are enjoyable, but you will always learn something from them- for example I learned from pattern making class that I am not well suited to ultra precise tasks. Internships are like a class in the “real world” and the same rules don’t always apply but see your office as a classroom. Be on time, be present, and be okay with it not being a perfect subject for you. School is trial and error. Through internships I’ve found I don’t like small companies, and also love offices that have a lot of fun. This has helped me in my job search. Now is the time to learn what you like and sometimes that means doing stuff you don’t like.
Look at what your boss does, and not just what you do
As an intern, you’re likely not going to be doing the exact work you would be after graduation. You do have a window into what your boss does, and that can help you decide if you like the career choice or need to pivot. I’ve had internships where I found my work to be a drag, but for the most part I thought what my bosses did was interesting. Know that your work as an intern likely won’t be the same as that of a graduate.
Soak it all up
Like it or not, might as well get something from your time. Read reports, ask to sit in on meetings, and try to master the photocopier. Everyone at FIT has a crazy internship story- and we all survived. Some of the worst things I’ve had to do I laugh about now. It’s all temporary.
Have you ever had to stick it out at an internship? What helped you get through it? Leave a comment below!