CAREER ADVICE – Help: I Do Not Like my Internship!

Help: I Do Not Like my Internship!

JEANINE GRILLO

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Like a class, your time spent interning should be filled with self-discovery, learning, and skill development. But what happens when you truly are not enjoying your time doing a job you feel you were meant to love?

It is a hard discussion to have with others, as most will feel you are ungrateful for gaining such a coveted position. In reality, talking about your likes and dislikes is far from selfish. If anything, this piece of your life calls for some selfish behavior to truly pinpoint what it is you want out of life. If you find yourself struggling with your internship, here are some tips to help you along.

Stick out the internship as much as possible. Most internships do not run beyond 2-3 months. Find ways to push through and reward yourself after the weeks end. If your tasks are mundane, listen to some music or a podcast while you are completing them. I have done that multiple times, and it can truly make a seemingly unbearable position more fun and exciting. Completing the internship will feel like a huge accomplishment, and you will be able to put your work on your resume. Also, leaving prematurely can leave a sour taste in others’ mouths. The last thing you want to do is burn a bridge. Just like you will not enjoy every college class you take, chances are you will face some interning situations that are not quite as exciting or ideal as you expect.

Is it the people or the work? For some people, coworkers matter more than the job. Are the others you are working with interacting with you? If not, try to engage in some conversation. Set up some time to meet with them to ask what they do and how it helps the firm as a whole. By getting to know others, they may feel more inclined to include you in office meetings and events where you can interact and build relationships with other employees. If you feel the environment is very friendly, but the work is unbearable, it may be time to assess the area you plan on working in. Ask if you can experience another area of the firm that holds your interest. For example, if you are working in marketing, but find yourself gravitating more towards the financial end of things, ask if you would be able to chat with someone from finance to gain a better perspective on what they do and how they do it.

If you feel at all distressed or uncertain about the situation you are in, the best way to gain a professional perspective on the situation is by chatting with your advisor, director of experiential learning, or career resource on campus. They can give you advice on how to alter or leave your internship in a professional manner.
Having a negative internship is not the end of the world. In fact, you can learn a lot about yourself and what you want out of your future. If you are truly diversifying your interests and trying a lot of different opportunities within your field of study, you will find it easier in the long run to decide what jobs will suit you best!

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