Top 10 dilemmas that make internship hell

  • Focus
  • Saturday, 05 Sep 2015

1. Dragon boss

FOR every good internship experience, there is an unpleasant one that sticks in one’s mind.

While one may be excited to venture into the working world and make their mark in their chosen profession, it is important to keep in mind that not everything may turn out as expected.

Undoubtedly, there are internship experiences that help an individual grow but there are also those that only make life difficult for the intern.

StarMetro Online lists some of the more dreadful internship experiences for this week’s top 10.

1. Dragon boss

No one likes to be micromanaged and making one’s internship unbearable is a boss who strikes fear in your heart or bullies you. Sometimes, some superiors are less accommodating and do not provide helpful feedback or are unapproachable when clarification is needed.

8. Being made a scapegoat

2. Being made a scapegoat

Interns are an easy target. Everyone makes mistakes and it is easy for a senior to point the finger at an intern. Regardless of one’s role within a workplace, shouldering blame for something that was not your mistake is never pleasant.

3. Unhelpful colleagues

It is never easy to be thrown into the deep end and be expected to complete a task without any experience. A good rapport with colleagues could help you cope with your work. Unfortunately, in some working environments, your colleagues may not always be helpful or easy to befriend, leaving you feeling left out and terribly lonely. Yes, you may be an intern but interns have feelings, too.

4. Doing menial tasks for a prolonged period

4. Doing menial tasks for prolonged period

While some tasks may be a test of your skills, doing menial work for your entire internship duration can leave you feeling jaded. The seemingly small tasks can make one feel unappreciated but some internships enable you to learn more in due time. However, there are situations where the intern is left fetching coffee or photocopying papers for their colleagues all the time, making them question if they have gained any experience that would contribute to their professional growth.

5. Given more work than you can handle

Can’t sleep at night because of looming deadlines? Some are overloaded with work during their internship and the heightened stress levels take a toll on them. There are interns who remain silent about the bad treatment, keeping their head low despite being taken advantage of. Additionally, some tasks are more time consuming than others.

6. Eating at places that is out of your budget

Interns are paid a pittance or not at all. Imagine the fear an intern feels when a lunch meeting is held at a venue that is over his or her budget! What is affordable to some may be expensive to others.

7. Treated like a nobody

7. Being treated like a nobody

No intern is perfect – some believe that they are too good to be an intern while there are others who are clearly disinterested in their job or lacking initiative. However, there are interns who are treated like a nobody despite putting in an honest amount of hard work. For example, being called “intern” rather than your name is not only annoying but disrespectful.

8. Expected to know everything

As interns, one might aim to maximise their learning curve during their internship. However, there are cases when one’s superior assumes that their intern has been taught everything in college, barking at them for being completely at sea in doing an assigned task. Sometimes, they forget that interns are also there to learn what cannot be taught in the classroom.

9. Being the subject of gossip

Interns can make mistakes and it is embarrassing when everyone is talking about what they did wrong. What may be common knowledge to others in a particular workplace may not be obvious to an intern who may be working for his or her first time. While everyone gets talked about at some point in their life, it may feel worse when it is happening to you in your first professional setting.

10. Doing things out of your job scope

10. Doing things out of your job scope

In many jobs, we are often told that we may be assigned tasks outside our traditional role when necessary. However, it is different when the job scope is a radical change from what we are trained to do. A business graduate with no graphic design knowledge will struggle to complete such a task while an arts and humanities student will face difficulty when asked to do banking and financial translation work. Such incidences will not only cause great amount of stress but may leave the intern resenting their boss for being assigned such tasks without any assistance.

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