Feeling Inadequate At Your Internships?

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional
Feeling Inadequate At Your Internships? blog image

Feeling Inadequate At Your Internships?

I have good news for you: internships aren't supposed to be easy! In fact, sometimes they can be outright challenging. But this is your time to learn, develop and to think about how you want to spend your time after graduation. One of my Intern Queen Campus Ambassadors called me this week and mentioned she felt inadequate at her internship. I want to share some of the feedback that I shared with her.

1. You Aren't Expected to be Perfect. This is an INTERNSHIP not a JOB. They hired you because they know you want to learn -- not because they are ready to hire you and put you on salary. At an internship, there is supposed to be a learning curve. Making mistakes comes with the territory. The goal is to make mistakes now so that you don't make as many mistakes when you are a first-year employee.

2. Ask for Feedback. Don't be afraid to ask your internship coordinator for feedback on your assignments. When they give you constructive criticism, thank them and explain to them that you value their opinions. This will encourage your internship coordinator to constantly provide you with feedback -- which will help you to succeed in the long run.

3. Apply Feedback. Take whatever criticism you get from employers with a grain of salt. Again, you are an intern. This is a learning experience and you aren't going to be perfect. Try your best to consider all feedback and put into practice in your next assignment. Show the internship coordinator that you take his or her feedback seriously.

4. Request a 15-Minute Meeting. If you don't feel like your internship coordinator is providing you with enough attention, projects, or feedback -- ask him or her if you can have 15 minutes of their time at some point over the next few days. During the meeting, try to maintain a positive tone and ask them specific questions. For example, you could say, "I'm really enjoying my experience so far; I wanted to ask if a few times a week I could get some feedback on my work. I know you are the best at what you do and I'd love to take this opportunity to improve my work."

5. Ask For "Homework." If you are interning at an entertainment company -- perhaps a studio or a network -- and you are having a hard time understanding the business in general, ask your internship coordinator if they can suggest any reading material for you (websites, books, magazines, trade publications, etc). If someone gives you something to check out, take them seriously and go check it out!