While there are many steps you can take to make yourself an all-star intern, there are also mistakes you can make (sometimes unknowingly) that can have the opposite effect. In order to avoid these, it’s important to remember why you’re at your internship in the first place. Although it should definitely be a fun experience, you are receiving college credit and perhaps other forms of compensation to contribute your time and effort to the organization, so staying motivated and productive is a must.
To avoid landing yourself in hot water, check out our top tips about what not to do at your next internship.
1. Don’t spend time on your phone or on social media.
Unless there is an emergency or you’re expecting an important call, there is no need to be on your phone throughout the day. You’re at your internship to learn and to work and if you spend your day slacking off and not accomplishing your goals, it will not go unnoticed. Surfing social media sites or texting all day will make it seem like you don’t care at all about the position and that you don’t want to be there. The last thing you want to be known for at your internship is being lazy or unproductive.
2. Don’t contribute too much or too little.
There’s an important balance you want to reach between making your voice heard, yet knowing when to just sit back and listen. As an intern, you’re still relatively new to the industry and you don’t have as much experience or knowledge as your fellow coworkers. That being said, if you’re asked for input or if you have a suggestion that you think is worth contributing, then by all means, do it. You just want to make sure that you’re not overstepping your place or coming off like a know-it-all.
3. Don’t be closed-minded.
An internship is meant to be a learning experience and you want to gain as much knowledge as you possibly can, so never say no to a project or a task because you don’t want to do it or because you think you won’t like it. Give everything a chance, because not only is it your job as an intern to follow instructions, but it will ultimately help you decide what you see yourself doing as a future career.
It can be difficult to know what not do in a new position, especially as an intern, but by following these tips, you’ll knock a bad habit before you even start it.