What If Your Internship Wasn't What You Thought It Would Be....

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What If Your Internship Wasn't What You Thought It Would Be....

This blog is written by our new Intern Queen Campus Ambassador, Laura, from Clemson. If you attend Clemson and want to blog for Intern Queen please comment here!

If we are being honest, sometimes our internships don’t turn out exactly like we thought they were
going to. I was in this situation last summer. It wasn’t that I was the coffee girl that had to do all the
dirty work, it’s just that my employer didn’t always have work for me to do. While some interns may
long for slow days at their internships (and slow days are good sometimes), I enjoy staying busy and
want to feel like I am contributing to the company.

Before I go into more detail, I want to say that the company I worked for was a great company. I worked
at a well established accounting firm that great benefits for their employees and is known for treating
their employees well. However, I realized at the beginning of the summer that the internship was going
to be different from what I had in mind. Instead of dreading going to work each day, I decided I needed
to focus on the positive aspects of my internship. Here are a few of the main things I came up with:

• Co-workers. I got along with and enjoyed everyone I worked with, which is definitely not always
the case in the real world.

• Flexibility. My boss was really flexible and was great about letting me take off for family
vacation.

• Relationships. Although I may not have been working on big projects, my co-workers were, and
I was able to talk to them about their jobs and the public relations and marketing industry. As
students, we are always told to network. You want to get to know the people you work with and
soak in all the professional advice they offer.

• It showed me what I didn’t like. Although the company was very successful in its industry,
I realized I could never work in the accounting field. Even though my position was in the
marketing department, I couldn’t see myself working in that industry and realized I needed
to work in a more creative industry (like fashion). It’s always good to find these things out in
internships instead of realizing it when you are a month into your first real world job.

• Big vs. small. The accounting firm I worked for was very large and I was able to see what it was
like to work in-house for a big company. I have since worked two other internships at small
public relations agencies, and it has been good for me to see the differences between the two.

• Proactivity. I didn’t just sit on Facebook all day waiting for an assignment. I went to my
bosses and co-workers and asked if they needed help with anything. Sometimes they did and
sometimes they didn’t. Either way, at least I was trying to make good use of my time and they
saw that I wanted to help and work hard.

• Resume Builder. Any internship experience is one more thing that will make your resume more
attractive to future employers.

While my internship wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for, I definitely wouldn’t consider it a negative
experience. As you can see, I came up with plenty of positive things to take with me into work each day.
If your internship is not what you thought it would be, make a list of all the positive things about and try
to establish as many relationships as you can while you are there.