Recently we discussed how to make the most out of an internship. Today, we are going to look at mistakes to avoid. Your internship experience is largely predicated on how you approach it. It could be an easy summer job with a lot of downtime, or it could be a great learning experience that stretches and prepares you for the rigorous of post college life. Either way – it’s up to you. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest mistakes to avoid.
Failing to ask questions or ask for more work
This affects you and your work. Not failing to ask questions robs you from learning and robs the organizations from having a productive intern. You are not expected to know everything – you’re an intern remember? If you are confused about something do not be afraid to ask. In fact, your supervisor wants you to ask questions. Some people view it as a sign of weakness, but most managers view it as a strength because it shows the intern is eager to learn.
If you run out of work then ask for more. Many employers do not want to overload the intern so they underestimate the workload. Prove them wrong by getting everything done quickly and efficiently. Some interns choose to surf the web or look at Facebook – don’t be that intern.
Neglecting to network
It is tempting to stick with your peers and not network. As an intern, you are a part of the organization – an integral part of the team. Integrating yourself into the team is important. You want to make sure you network with professionals who can teach you a thing or two as well as help advance your career. As the saying goes, it’s who you know.
Browsing your phone
One of the major complaints about interns is that they are always browsing their smart phones. Whether it’s Facebook, the internet, or texting, it conveys that you really don’t want to be there, and that you are not a serious professional. Put down the phone.
Dressing too casually
Even though they might not mention it to you, dressing more casual than everyone else is not good. You can never go wrong with dressing professionally. Look around the office and see what the norm is. Do your best to meet the dress code.
Acting like the internship is temporary
You need to view the internship like it is one long job interview. Everything you do will be scrutinized. That’s the attitude you need to have. It will help you stay on your game. Act like a full time employee and you just might become one when everything is said and done.
Leaving without saying goodbye
Before you leave, it is great PR to write thank you cards to everyone who assisted you. This leaves a great impression and shows you have wisdom beyond your years.