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7 Hard Truths About Internships You Need to Know

Written by Angela Finding

Internships are an exciting way to get valuable experience, meet new contacts, and prepare you for your future career. However, they don’t always live up to our hopeful expectations.

  1. Work Can Move Slowly At Times

You may want to believe that you’ll be busy and excited about work every day, but that’s just not how every internship works. You might complete projects and assignments quicker than your supervisor expected and end up with nothing to do. If you find yourself in this position, don’t stare at the wall all day, be proactive and ask for more assignments.

  1. You Will Not Work for a Big, Shiny Company

Most of the companies that provide internships are not Fortune 500 establishments. These businesses will most likely be in a modest building, with a smaller staff, who execute less glamorous—but still interesting—work. Don’t discount smaller companies because they are not Google. The experience you will gain is invaluable.

  1. Sometimes You’ll Be Anonymous

As an intern, it’s possible some people might forget your name, confuse you with another intern, or completely forget that you work there. Try and take the anonymity in stride by making yourself stand out to your co-workers. Asking your co-workers questions and learning about them as individuals is a great way to make and keep connections.

  1. Failure Is Par for the Course

You will not succeed at everything you try, that’s part of the internship experience. Almost 60 percent of interns believe experience is more important than monetary compensation, which is important to keep in mind considering you sometimes have to fail to understand your true potential. When you fail at certain tasks, pick yourself up, correct your mistakes, and try again.

  1. You’ll Have to Work to Stand Out

There may be dozens of interns at the company you work for. Don’t let the number of people stop you from breaking away from the pack. Constantly find ways to show off your talents, offer ideas when asked, and ask questions to make the best impression during your internship.

  1. There Is No More Comfort Zone

Internships require you to do things you may have never tried in your college experience. Accept that you must talk to strangers, make projects, fetch supplies, and put yourself at the disposal of others. Internships require letting go of some social anxieties to gain success.

  1. An Internship Does Not Always Lead to a Job

Only 37 percent of unpaid internships end in job offers. No matter how hard you work, your internship may not land you a job. But, that’s okay, because you still get the experience and the contacts to propel you forward in your career. Remember that all experience is good experience when you have a goal.

Although your internship may not be a dream job, it is an opportunity for you to shine and make the most of your time and experience in the workplace. What you learn at your internship can only help you as you enter the workforce.

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