The ONE Mistake Interns Must Avoid and the ONE Goal Every Intern Should Have

by Gabi Bourn

Gabi Bourn
Production Manager at Wunderman

Here is a commonly accepted statement: It takes three to six months to adjust to a new job. Most people read that, think back throughout their career and agree with that time frame. Yet, interns across the world have just begun their summer internships where many work part-time for three months. That means that interns are barely beginning to become comfortable with their daily job functions and responsibilities when the internship comes to an end. College students, interns, and new hires listen up – this is important! Interns are barely beginning to become comfortable with their daily job functions by the end of their internship.

It takes time to learn the job functions and the company culture. Many times, interns forget this and start to feel comfortable in their roles. Definitely, interns should have confidence and trust in their abilities, but they need to remember that they are new and inexperienced.

Have you figured out the one mistake interns must avoid, yet? I’ve used the word three times already – comfortable. Becoming too comfortable too fast can be disastrous for an internship.

What do I mean by too comfortable? Here’s a few examples: Are you following the dress code but barely? Or, maybe you are slipping in at 9:05AM instead of 9:00AM? Are you reading only the emails that seem important to you? Being too comfortable in an internship can take many different forms, and interns must constantly guard against it.

Remember, an internship is a long job interview. Where you comfortable when you interviewed for the job? Were you on time and worried about making a good first impression? Did you want to portray yourself as a smart, hardworking, and professional individual? Every day that you walk into your internship, remember the feeling you had when you walked in to the interview. Do not become comfortable.

Now, that you know what not to do, here is what to do. A successful internship is one where you leave the company better than you found it – look for a process improvement, create documentation, or streamline a process. Be memorable for the right reasons!

Anything you can do to help yourself stand apart as a proactive, efficient, dedicated intern is worth pursuing.

Here are the Key Takeaways:

Have confidence, but do not become too comfortable in your internship.

Leave the company better than you found it.


Originally posted on LinkedIn, republished with permission

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