Behaviours to avoid in your internship

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Completing an internship can be extremely helpful to students and young professionals, as the internship allows you to explore career options, test a particular area within your field, gain new skills, strength your networking, boost your confidence and your resume, and much more. However, there are a few behaviours that all interns should avoid in order to have the best outcome from the internship experience. We have listed some of these behaviours that we have frequently identified with interns in the past years to help you to have an outstanding performance during your program:

1 - Not Showing the Willingness to Learn

In most cases, interns have very limited or no work experience at all in their fields, so they generally only have little technical expertise to offer to their Host Company. Therefore, their enthusiasm, eagerness to learn, curiosity and fresh eyes about the industry are usually the best they can offer, so nothing less than a voracious appetite for knowledge is expected.

You should grab every learning opportunity that comes your way, familiarise yourself with the various aspects of your profession and other related areas or departments. This will impress your Host Company, while the opposite behaviour will make you look indifferent, passive and non-committed.

2 - Segregating Yourself with the other Interns

While it can be tempting to hang out with other interns, make sure you establish a good work relationship with other employees too, especially experienced co-workers. With their solid background in the industry, they are able to offer advice, teach you about your chosen career and maybe even provide good references.

3 – Not Learning the Company Culture

Every business has its own Company Culture. They have a set of elements such as work environment, values, vision, habits that defines its personality. For example, some offices are very corporate and formal, while others are quite relaxed and casual.

As an intern, it is important that you observe how employees behave and interact and try to act accordingly. If your Host Organisation is very formal it will be extremely inappropriate to dress casually or speak loudly. On the other hand, if you act too formally in an informal environment you may be seen as arrogant or pretentious.

4 – Not Asking Feedback

Asking for feedback is one of the most crucial parts of an internship. You may think that you are doing quite well, when in reality there may be several areas to be improved. Do not miss any opportunity to shape and refine your skills. Instead of waiting for your supervisor to bring up the subject of feedback, take the lead and ask them to provide feedback on the tasks you have been working on. This is a great way to demonstrate your commitment and interest in learning and growing.

Published on by Daniele L.