- Hannah Rafter |
Lots of interns, students and work experience students fall into some familiar traps while undertaking their internship. They can affect your confidence and taint the internship and also give an poor impression to your manager without you even knowing.
Here are 5 common issues that can limit an interns experience:
Not asking your manager for feedback:We can all be guilty of not wanting feedback, very often because we fear criticism and negativity. Alternatively the reverse is true. We believe things are going well, so why bother? Getting feedback on how you are undertaking your role doesn’t have to be a negative experience. It is also a great opportunity to feel appreciated and to understand aspects of the role where you are excelling. Any constructive criticism will offer opportunities to learn and grow which will only make you better at your job.
Flexible work life balance: Your time spent as an intern won’t last too long and nor should it. This can be an intense few weeks/months getting to know different areas in an industry you hope to build your career. Make sure you don’t prioritise your social life and therefore not be open to flexible opportunities, such as going to a talk with your boss after work, help organise at an event, visit an office in a different location. Of course, you need a healthy work life balance and time away from thinking about your place of work, but try not to see the job as starting at 9 and ending at 5.
Lacking confidence: Gaining confidence during your internship is one of the most valuable outcomes of an internship. Some individuals find this easy while others struggle putting themselves out there. With the help of others we can all gain more confidence in our ability to do the job well, so during periods of doubt, remind yourself that you were hired for a reason, your manager sees potential and that you are only at the start of your career. Ask for help and don’t be afraid to rely on others in the team to support you.
Not embracing company culture: In 2018 it is expected that the company you intern for will have a company culture, which signals how they like the organisation to work. Often this can involve social activities, charity engagement as well as ways of working. It could involve a bake sale, Friday drinks, team bonding days or other things that get the office up and about connecting with each other. As the intern, don’t feel you can’t embrace these opportunities to meet other people in the company and make connections that may help you in later life. Don’t just sit at your desk excluding yourself – become part of it.
Utilising company resources: Most interns won’t be fully aware of the opportunities and resources of the company that are open to them. This is not always your fault as a intern, sometimes it’s the responsibility of the manager or HR department to inform you. If they have not done this, then enquire! Are there training events you can attend? Are you invited to any company talks? Are you able to take any online courses or have 1-1’s with a senior member of the team? All these things may be possible during your internship and if they are TAKE THEM! These are invaluable opportunities to network and add to your portfolio while you have the time.
Being an intern is your one time to make an impression and progress into an industry you are interested in, so don’t let the few things above prevent you from having a great experience. Being an intern isn’t a forever thing therefore treat it like you have one shot.
By contributing guest editor Hannah Rafter, founder and Editor In Chief of The Intern 247, a website dedicated to giving real insights into the world of fashion internships. @theintern247 theintern247.comPhoto credit: pixabay.com