Internships are the new entry level experience for the next generation of employees. The go-getter millennial wants to get the best of both worlds right from the undergraduate levels. The reality of the workplace is slightly different. While most organizations do have training, induction, and projects planned for their interns, there are some that would perhaps look for a place to sit for you after you come on board for internship. So how do you deal with common challenges and still make the most of your internship?
Imagine having a 45-day long internship and practically no work to do. This is one of the most unsettling situations to be in. You are all geared up to make that first impression, but end up twiddling thumbs for days. This happens mostly in cases where the internship is not paid. Hence it is always better to look for a paid internship. But if you find yourself stuck in a ‘no-work internship’, don’t panic. Think through the objectives of joining this internship. Did you want to gain experience in a couple of domains? Were you looking for experiential learning in a certain technical field? When the work in not forthcoming, seek time from the reporting manager, and share with him the specific areas you would like to work in. Looking lost and being low on confidence will not help. Make this conversation count.
However, if the conversation with the reporting manager does not help, you need to understand a few things. The objective of your internship is multi-fold. You are not just gaining work experience, but also trying to understand how a workplace functions. Stay positive, and try to speak informally with employees on various aspects of the work. If there are other interns in your department, have conversations with them on their experience. Do not lose heart under any circumstances. Be congenial, and offer to work on tedious tasks, and work on them well. It pays to take initiative during the internship. You will eventually learn from your seniors well.
When you have no or limited work during the internship, it definitely does not mean that you walk in late, or fail to spend the requisite hours at work. The experience of internship is meant to teach you the routine of a workplace. You will miss out on this unique experience if you come late, skip work, or leave early. Companies expect their employees to be punctual, diligent, and eager to work, and be visible at the workplace. Interns are no exception. Don’t look restless to leave half an hour before the stipulated time. When you are given work, put in your best effort. You are at the workplace to showcase your ability. Work sincerely on a seemingly trivial task, and after submitting it to your manager, take her feedback. Make note of all the important points, and ensure you incorporate them in the next assignment.
Whatever challenges there may be, stay enthusiastic all through the duration of your internship. Remember, internship experiences look great on your CV. An internship that has on the face of it little work for you is adding to your experience in two ways. One, it will add value to your CV. Two, you may get valuable references from the reporting manager or someone else. All you need is enthusiasm, positivity, and work ethics to make it happen.
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