How to Lose an Internship in 10 Ways

Posted -

3. Dress provocatively
It never ceases to amaze me that Snooki can walk around in broad daylight dressed like a streetwalker, and the girls on "The Real World" can rock hot pants and super low V-necks to their "internships" every day. If only we were all so lucky as to be receiving our paycheck from MTV.

Showing up to the office (especially a very conservative one) in low-cut tops, skintight dresses, thigh-high boots, and hot pants leaves very little to the imagination, and very little chance that you will be sticking around at your internship for too long. Berger advises against "showing off too much skin, wearing skinny strap tanks or flip flops.” Particularly in the summer months, when it comes to dresses and skirts, it can be hard to determine exactly what pushes the limits in the office (especially if your usual motto is "the shorter the better"). A good rule of thumb is to make sure that hemlines fall around the knees in conservative industries and no higher than three inches above them everywhere else.  Also, avoid any shirts labeled "deep cut" or "super V-neck.” Instead, save any offending items for situations other than the office (e.g., night clubs, your internship at MTV, Halloween, etc.).
4. Treat the company supply closet like an Office Max
Why buy office supplies when there's a fully stocked closet right next to your office? I mean, it's practically saying "Come in, how about a new stapler? ...and one for all of your friends, too!" Okay, so pretending the office supply closet is a Staples is right up there with taking extra packets of Splenda from Starbucks and emptying the rest of the cheddar bay biscuits into your purse at the Red Lobster. It sounds good in theory, but in reality, it's just BAD (and kind of pathetic).
While some companies may have lax policies about you taking an extra pencil (or twelve) home with you, using company supplies instead of purchasing your own materials is not only tasteless, but extremely dishonest. Just because stuff is in a large quantities in an unsupervised closet does not mean that it is yours for the taking. Berger warns that behavior like this "shows your boss they cannot trust you." That is definitely not a good thing. So the next time you need a new pad of sticky notes, please, just go to Office Max (not the supply closet).
5. Take care of your personal to-do list at the office
Swapping Spring Break stories with your besties via Skype, scheduling your monthly bikini wax, and calling your dermatologist to ask her about that freaky rash on your back—a little free time during your internship can be the perfect time to finish up your personal to-do list! Unless, of course, you want to be a good intern.
While at the office, be 100 percent at the office. Physical presence is not enough; you should be actively engagedin your internship at all times. Berger advises, "Always ask yourself, 'Who else can I help? What can I be doing right now to make the most of this experience?'” Chances are, the company didn't give you this opportunity to just sit there and look pretty (buying a plant would have been cheaper). The key to having a successful internship is to make yourself indispensible at the office...and to save your personal (and potentially embarrassing) personal errands for your own time. Make your company question what they ever did without you (and not why in the world they hired you).

6. Show off your anger management issues.
This is one thing you definitely do not want to have in common with Naomi Campbell (who infamously de-stressed by chucking her cell phone at her assistant). Here's a good rule of thumb: even the worst day should not end with you hitting the copy machine with your purse. Ever. Being the girl with the reputation for exploding at office secretaries, yelling at (really) anybody in your office, and stomping off from meetings with your supervisor will quickly gain you a reputation for handling disappointment and challenges like a nap-deprived 3-year-old. Besides that, I would be surprised if your internship lasted beyond two days. While whining about having to come into the office on a Saturday may make you feel a little better in the moment, it's a proven fact that nobody likes a Debbie Downer. Berger says, "Lose the internship by not staying positive. Even when you are having the worst day, it shouldn’t show—stay professional."


About The Author

Emily Grier is currently a sophomore at Penn State University. She loves all things Nittany Lions, however she readily admits to being a complete Connecticut girl at heart. There's nothing she enjoys more than autumn in New England, holiday lattes from Starbucks, "Gilmore Girls", and strawberry cupcakes from Crumbs bakeshop. Although she's intending on majoring in accounting with a minor in business law, writing remains a true passion of hers. In addition to writing for Her Campus, Emily has been published on the USA TODAY College Blog and is a staff writer for Valley magazine, Penn State's life and style magazine.