Note to Interns: Don’t be THAT Intern
Interns make the world go round. They are often very helpful, dedicated, and eager to get their foot in the door and start off their summer with a fresh start. However, no matter how many other fellow wonderful interns you find yourself around, there will always be THAT intern.
This is the know-it-all intern or the intern that comes to work late every single day and yet is the first to pack up during closing time. Or how about the intern who sleeps on the job and is only awake to tell the team about his experience at a party he had the night before. No matter what kind of intern you think of when someone says THAT intern, we can all agree that there are common mistakes that can be avoided while on the job.
Every intern’s goal is to leave a lasting impression and hopefully go from intern to employee. To get to that point, you need to first take a step back and assess how your words, thoughts, and actions can affect your situation. Let’s take a look at a few types of interns that you never want to be:
The Cell Phone Intern
“Ding!” Yes, we all heard your cell phone go off and as tempting as it may be for you to pull it out and quickly glance at your notification, don’t. While this may cause a 1 – 5 minute separation anxiety attack, you must learn to fight back. Constantly checking your phone at work will be noticed and you don’t want to be known for that. Check the company culture and see how others go about with their cell phone. It’s best to keep it on silent and somewhere closed off so that you aren’t constantly tempted to look at it.
The Timid Intern
If you find yourself constantly too afraid to ask questions, always walking on your tippy toes, and your heart rate is 3x faster when your name is called, you fit this category. Naturally as an intern, there are times where you may be a little shy and apprehensive on the way you should conduct yourself. Take initiative when you have the opportunity to.
Some days there may be no work to do but Instead of staring at a blank screen, try to utilize this down time. It is crucial that you are proactive and show your team your strong work ethic. Speak out and ask your supervisor if he or she may know anyone else that you can help. Do not be too afraid to meet new people and offer your assistance.
The Unprofessional Intern
This intern is the most noticeable of them all. Below are a few traits they exemplify:
- Arrives late all the time
- Does not meet deadlines
- Uses slang when talking to higher ups
- Sleeps on the job
- Dresses unprofessionally
Always be mindful of what you do and say while you’re in the internship. Mistakes are inevitable but when they happen repeatedly, it isn’t good look. Take some time to google “Internship Dos and Don’ts” to see any areas that may need some improvement.
The Overly Sensitive Intern
We get it- this is your dream internship and you want it to be perfect. However, you have to accept the fact that not everything will go as planned. There may be another intern you don’t get along with or maybe someone said something on your first day that rubbed you off the wrong way. Don’t let this make you miserable or give you an attitude with everyone in the building.
One final tip that I want to give you is that you should not take constructive criticism personally. I have had colleagues react and complain to the most insignificant things. No matter what mistake you make, do not beat yourself up. This is a time for you to develop and craft your skills. Receiving feedback and criticism is a part of the job and a major part of life.