Higher education, in and out itself, dramatically reduces the rate of unemployment and underemployment. Yet, a degree is not a ticket that automatically provides a job. However, in today’s competitive economy, it is crucial that students make an internship a top priority. You’d be happy to know that 75 percent of the 21 million postgraduate students have at least one internship to their credit. That’s 15.75 million internships, folks! Well,the internships have truly become ‘the new interview,’ in the job.
It has its own downsides too, I have actively done a number of internships, let it be work from home, part time or full-time. But i believe there are a few common challenges which is faced by every Intern. Being categorised as temporary, unpaid/underpaid and in a race to gain experience is the best to describe them.
Some of the most frequently and ordinary problems are:
1)Your work is not used.
Your boss gives you a project that you finally feel will make use of your college education. But it ends up never being published, getting lost on their desk, or, whoops – there was a miscommunication between the senior staff and your project is now unnecessary. It is not only makes you less motivated for projects in the future but also frustrates you because of your seemingly wasted time and effort.
What to do: Publish your written work online instead! Try not to look at it as wasted time and effort. Instead see it as a resume or an experience booster. Keep a list of the tasks and projects you’ve accomplished during your time as an intern. Writing them down will help you remember what experiences you’ve had and give you the sense of completion you need to push on.
2)Too less work
There’s not enough work assigned to you,which would keep you entertained from 9 to 6 and turn the world upside down with your skills. From being extremely bored of all the social media handles, listening to all the latest songs, drumming your fingers over the desk to feeling underutilized and the inability to do anything in life. Are you attacked by any of these symptoms? Bad news- less work!
What to do: Ask your seniors if they need help with the current work they’re doing. But this tactic wouldn’t last long since you yourself would feel embarrassed after repeatedly saying you don’t have work. The best long term strategy is to create work for yourself. Undertake any kind of research that interests you and contact newspapers, online portals to publish them. Once you see them talking about your work, try to see where you fit in.
3) Not getting any guidance
Not hearing a word of either a positive or a negative feedback of the work you’ve submitted leaves us doubt our own self confidence at times. It’s true that the interns aren’t aware of the actual work. It seems like visiting the doctor and coming empty handed,without any prescription.
What to do: Appropriate communication mode with your boss so that they understand your motive would make it simpler for both of us. Inclusive of the things you want to learn and that you want to achieve in the coming future. So he knows in what aspect to teach and guide you. If you’re confused about how you should accomplish your tasks, always ask. Never be afraid to ask questions! Your boss probably thinks that you already know what to do and that his/her instructions were clear enough.
4) Change in Lifestyle
Transformation from getting up at 9 and barely attending a few lectures to working from 9 to 6 constantly sitting on a desk. If you’re a recent graduate, well, the struggle is real! It would take time to let this new lifestyle sink in yourself and moreover be happy with it.
What to do: Do not make your schedule monotonous by ‘get up, eat, work, sleep, repeat’. It’s a TRAP. I repeat it’s a trap. Indulge yourself in adventurous activities. Continue with one of your habit, it could be singing, dancing, sports etc. This will divert your mind into something that interests you and guess what? You wouldn’t get bored too.
5) Doing mindless work
With work comes responsibility and hence getting your hands on some real work takes efforts and you have to deal with the grunt passage before being capable of handling bigger stuff.
What to do: First try to do your best with the tasks given to you at work. You have to hustle and prove your worth then hopefully, your boss will trust you enough to give you meatier roles.Try to find value in the work that is presented in you and if it doesn’t work, create opportunities for yourself.