While internships are essential experiences, with a new environment and a new set of skills to learn, mistakes are bound to happen. The good part? This is totally okay (and completely normal).
Here’s what you need to know about coming to terms with the mistakes you’ve made during your internship.
You’re not the only one.
It’s important to keep things in perspective. You’re not the only intern who has ever made a mistake. All interns (and full-time employees) make mistakes, because we’re only human and it’s a natural part of life. It can be easy to trap yourself into thinking that everyone else is perfect and you’re the only one who has messed up, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Your supervisor, your boss, your co-workers and your fellow interns have made mistakes, and they were able to get past them, so you can too.
It’s a learning opportunity.
Usually, you make a mistake when you’re unfamiliar with something or you’re doing a task or project for the first time, so when you do mess up, think about how you can improve the next time you’re in that situation. For example, ask a question if you’re confused, conduct research on what you’re doing or go a little bit slower and take your time. What’s key here is that you learn from your mistake so that you don’t repeat it again. Mistakes only become an issue when they happen over and over again, so make sure to own up to your mistake and make an effort to change it.
It’s not the end of the world.
As soon as you make a mistake, several thoughts are floating through your head. ‘Are they going to fire me? What if I leave a bad impression for the rest of my internship? Will my supervisor ever give me another assignment?’ As long as making mistakes isn’t a habit, the answer to these questions is almost always going to be no. Your supervisor and co-workers understand that you’re an intern and that you’re going to make mistakes. In fact, they expect you to and would probably be surprised if you didn’t, because making a mistake means you’re in the process of learning and that’s the whole point of an internship.
When you think back on the mistakes you’ve made during your internship, don’t worry. Simply own up to them and do everything you can to improve. One mistake doesn’t define your entire internship experience or you as a person, for that matter. You’re all still the rockstar interns that we know you are!