10 Ways to Screw up an Internship
In the coming weeks, thousands of college students will graduate to the “real world” (not a reference to the MTV reality show) where they will be faced with the daunting task of acting like a professional. Hopefully these soon-to-be young professionals garnered an internship to teach them how to succeed in the competitive working world. What better way to prepare yourself for the professional world than with some real world experience, right?
However, this post isn’t about how to gain meaningful experience at an internship. This post is meant for the rebellious-type who wishes to merely fulfill an internship credit and gain absolutely no professional experience. For that guy/gal, I offer these tips:
- Ignore criticism and continue doing things your own way. Why listen to professionals who are successful and know what they are doing? Instead, do things the way you — with no professional experience — think they should be done and assume everyone else is wrong.
- Sit around and relax while you wait for your next assignment. Hurry and finish a task and then avoid your supervisor until he/she notices you aren’t doing anything. That way you can get by with doing the least amount of work and have nothing to show in your portfolio.
- Give half an effort because it’s only an internship. Since you may not be getting paid and you are not expected to have perfect work because you’re an intern, then why try, right? Sloppily get things done and show your supervisor you could care less.
- Huff and puff over grunt work. Throw a fit when you are given less meaningful tasks to complete. That way you will show your supervisor you can’t complete small tasks without having a tantrum, so you aren’t ready for larger more significant assignments.
- Don’t ask questions, instead assume you will do it right. When you get an assignment that you don’t understand, just guess and never ask for clarification.
- Constantly refresh social media sites on your computer and smart phone. Obviously your social life is more important than anything else going on. End of story. If you are asked to complete an assignment make sure you refresh Twitter at least seven times before getting started.
- Just get up and leave when it’s time for you to go. Never check in with your supervisor when you are about to leave because he/she might give you more work to do. Instead, the minute it’s time for you to leave, just charge out the door without saying a word.
- Don’t make any friends. Be mean to everyone and roll your eyes or ignore anyone who is nice to you. If you must communicate, be short and emotionless in your response. It’s not important to make friends, you are here to complete an internship and move on
- Talk all the time and share every detail of your life. Stop whoever walks by your desk and tell them about your friend’s, sister’s, cousin who recently broke up with her eighth grade boyfriend. It doesn’t matter you are all at work and trying to actually, um…work.
- Never say a word and sneakily linger around others. Sneak around the office without being noticed. If you are asked your opinion in a meeting, pretend you are mute. That way they will never know if you have a good thought or idea.
So, rebel interns, if you wish to gain absolutely nothing from your internship experience, except for maybe a few gruesome recommendations, follow these tips closely…And don’t forget to scowl at your supervisor every morning!
[Note from Megan's supervisors during her PR internship with our B2B team: She didn't screw up anything! In fact, she was a dream intern. Thanks for all your help this semester, Megan!]
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