3 Very Common Internship Horrors And How To Avoid Them | JobsWire Blog

3 Very Common Internship Horrors And How To Avoid Them

Internships are generally supposed to give an opportunity to better your skills and gain enough experience to kick start your career. In an ideal situation, the internship will really help you grow your career however, this is not the case when it comes to some internships.

I am sure you have heard of various horror stories maybe even experienced some of it on your own. In this article, see some of the most common internship horror stories and how you can avoid them.

1. Bait-and-Switch

Sadly this situation is very common when it comes to internships, during the interview you are told how great the internship will be and how you will have a lot of responsibilities; only for you to show up at work and find that none of this was true. You find yourself filling documents and fetching tea for your colleagues.

"I ended up having to fetch tea for everyone at the office and run my boss's personal errands. This was not what I signed up for when I took the internship at a real estate firm," Grace a recent graduate says.

How to avoid such a situation

As an intern in some organizations, you will be required to perform some menial tasks such as getting coffee for everyone, this is a common practice is some organizations, however, this should not be all you do.

You need to have some serious responsibilities related to your career and hands on experience so that you will be able to learn the important skills needed and gain experience.

To ensure you don't waste any of your time on an internship that will not benefit you in any way, always as straight questions during the interview about the responsibilities you will have and what learning opportunities you will have.

Find out exactly what your workday will look like and don't just be satisfied with an answer with words like many exciting opportunities. The more details you have the better prepared you will be once you start the internship.

2. There's No Structure

Imagine you show up the first day very early excited to get to work. You have great ideas you want to pitch but what you don't have is an assignment and you have no idea who is supposed to give you the said assignment.

So you spend the day going through your emails and doing nothing else, none of your colleagues even act like they knew you were coming. This can be very disheartening because you want to feel like the people around you remember you exist and you also want to feel needed.

How to avoid such a situation

It is obviously not expected that during your first week you will have a lot of responsibilities; this is the time for you to get accustomed to the company culture as well as your daily tasks.

During the interview ensure you find out who you will be reporting directly to, this will make things easier for you on the first day as well as if you have any questions.

3. No Payment

There are various successful people who took up unpaid internships and ended up getting a job at the organization such as Michael Mulikita. Money should not always be the determining factor, you need to consider if the internship will be beneficial to your career or not.

For example, if you are gaining serious experience that will boost your chances of getting a better job after then you can decide to take the internship with no payment, however, if your responsibilities consist of fetching tea and being a messenger then you might not be able to stay on without payment.

How to avoid such a situation

One mistake most people make is assuming that payment is only in terms of compensation, this is not always the case some pay you in other ways such as a recommendation letter, course credit, tangible experience, and skills.

You need to do your research to find out the norm in your industry and the company you are interviewing with. This will help you when it comes to negotiating the payment terms during the interview to ensure you get a good deal.

In Conclusion,

It is understandable that with the current job market you probably feel like you have to take an internship that comes your way, however, you should not slow down your career growth by taking one that does not help you gain relevant experience and skills. Remember that this is the first step in your career.

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