You've spent hours hitting the books to maintain your almost flawless GPA. You gave up the Taylor Swift concert with all of your friends to finish up your internship applications. You woke up at 5 a.m. to practice exactly how you were going to walk through those office doors on your first day. After spending months preparing for the internship of your dreams, the last thing you want to do is jeopardize it from the beginning. Here are the top 10 ways to lose your internship, and (more importantly) how to avoid these mistakes.
1. Get smashed at work happy hour
Repeat after me: Happy hour with my coworkers is NOT a grown-up frat party.
Needless to say, there is a fine line between having a little fun and getting completely bombed at an office event. If you wake up the next morning and can't remember the specifics of the previous night, you did something wrong.
Especially when you're out with co-workers, always be in control of yourself. Even if you and a few people from your office just casually hang out after work, be particularly cautious of how much you drink and how alcohol is affecting you. Lauren Berger, better known as The Intern Queen, notes, "In fact, you could lose the internship if you get drunk and act inappropriately around ANYONE—remember everyone knows everyone. Develop that mentality." Let's review: responsibly sipping cocktails with your co-workers after work = good. Dancing topless on the bar doing Backstreet Boys karaoke = bad.
2. Be the office diva
You mean, the company didn't hire other interns to get me coffee? Depending on the company, being an intern may mean doing the company's less glamorous tasks (e.g., mastering the fine art of the copy machine). When you don't feel like doing something, do it anyway. That's what it means to have a real job in the real world. Asking other employees to fax something when it was on your to-do list, tampering with the office thermostat because your hair will frizz at anything above 68 degrees, and wearing your Chanel No. 5 perfume even though the girl in the cubicle next to you is horribly allergic to it will all earn you the title of being high maintenance. Berger says, "Lose the internship by becoming an intern diva. You are there to learn—volunteer for everything."
Remember: you're an intern...not a princess.