Your internship experience can be a valuable asset for you in the future, but there are some internship mistakes you can make that will make you not to get the best out of the program.
Internship mistakes are common to most students, since many of the students are reluctant to the benefits they stand to gain during their internship. But when they avoid these internship mistakes, they stand to gain a lot from it; getting jobs, reviews, recommendations, sponsorships, and mentorship.
Want to get the best out of your internship program? In this guide, I will be showing you the common internship mistakes you must avoid in order to get the best out of the program.
During an internship, the following internship mistakes can utterly ruin everything you stand to benefit from the program.
#1: Taking the internship too casual
One of the most common internship mistakes students make is approaching the internship casually. Students are reluctant to the fact the program is actually the foundation which their career is built upon. Hence, they approach the program unprofessionally.
If you are on intern, the best way you can avoid wasting months, a year, or even years in an internship is to set up a clear goal beforehand. Make sure the short or long term goal you set is clear and achievable. These will make you dedicated to the internship and will also improve your work ethics.
The fact still remains; we will live in a very competitive marketplace and work force. Only the dedicated, success- driven and effective candidates can thrive in these competitive marketplace and workforce.
#2: Poor time management
Poor time management is also another common internship mistakes interns make which you must avoid in order to get the best out of your internship.
Going to work late or spending longer time during your break doesn’t speak well about you, and employers don’t like that either. You might not be told at the face that what you are doing is bad because you are not fully part of the team, but you should know well enough that whatever your behavior is now, it is likely to be same when you are a fulltime employee.
Poor time management which is one of the terrible internship mistakes intern make can also result to their inability to complete tasks assign to them.
How to avoid: You should cultivate the habit of going to work earl and also prioritize your time. Whenever you have multiple tasks, having set your priorities (you can speak with your supervisor for help), you will know what to work on first, which will make you productive.
#3: Failing to make contacts
Networking is the key to a successful professional career. Failing to make contacts and other internship mistakes can utterly ruin your chances of landing a job in the company you are doing the internship in the coming future.
If you want to easily get a job in the company you are doing internship, make contacts there. If you want to get sponsorship too, make contacts there, and if you want a reference letter or letter of referral, also make contacts there. There are no limitations to the benefits you could get when you make valuable contacts during our internship.
How to avoid: Once you get an internship opportunity, or if you are currently undergoing an internship, you should make every effort to build valuable contact that may come handy in getting you future job opportunities, partnership, or even recommendation.
#4: Complaining about menial tasks
Another common internship mistakes many interns make is underestimating the importance of menial tasks. These tasks can include research, data entry, filling, and although they might not be directly relevant or important to you, they are crucial. Your ability to perform menial tasks well demonstrates good work ethics, and employers may come up with a more challenging and relevant tasks for you. But you want to avoid being taken advantage of.
How to avoid: Speak with your supervisor beforehand about tasks you are interested in. You might be given menial tasks, but as time goes on the supervisor will test you with the responsibilities you requested for.
#5: Not showing willingness to learn
Another common internship mistakes many interns make is not willing to learn. Internship is one of the biggest opportunities that come in your way where you can equip yourself with important knowledge. It is about getting familiar with the various aspects of your profession.
A lot of interns are reluctant to the valuable knowledge they tend to gain during their internship. They feel that the program is just meant to keep them busy and at the same time earn them some bucks, especially students.
How to avoid: Be interested in every task you are given. Do more research on the tasks, assignments, and projects you are given during the internship. You can also get yourself acquainted with other areas of your profession. Not only will it make your internship more interesting, but it will also get you familiarized with other related skills in your profession.
#6: Not asking for feedback
One of the keys to being successful in your internship is asking for feedback on your performances. You don’t have to wait for your supervisors to deliver feedback only if something critical comes up. You stand to learn a lot on your strengths and weaknesses, which you can work on to improve yourself.
How to avoid: Have a follow-up conversation with your supervisors to gauge improvements and see what other things you can do to improve. You can formulate the habit of asking the supervisor for important feedback at the end of each business week.
#7: Fear of asking questions
As an intern, you might feel shy to ask questions. But there is no need for you to be afraid of asking questions. Even at some point in the career of the bigwigs in the company, they were noob and had to ask question.
Just like some of our teachers always say – there are no stupid questions. Be free to ask questions.
Ask your questions early in the internship in order to gain as much knowledge as you can so that the rest of your internship will be productive, which will in turn make the hiring manager look into a possible fulltime employment for you.
How to avoid: Feel free to ask any question about the processes of the office, or about anything bothering you. The workers there, including the manager, will be willing to help you out, since they know the importance of the internship.
Also read – Writing a Powerful Internship Resume (5 Key Steps + Sample)
Internships have been proven to be one of the most effective programs to gain real life working experience. Internship being the starting point of most professionals’ career, employers looks for it in your resume. So avoiding the above listed internship mistakes will give you more bullet points to outline in your resume.
That is it on my guide on top internship mistakes you must avoid.
I’d love to hear from you
Hope you found steps to take to avoid these internship mistakes helpful?
Which do you find more helpful? Step #1 or Step #5?
Feel free to drop your comments below.
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