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Dos & Don’ts: When Your Internship Has Lost Its Spark

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rhodes chapter.

In January, I set out searching for Summer Internships in Marketing because I was so sure that that was my next step. I didn’t get the internship I was originally hoping for, but I was connected to this other opportunity to intern for a Social Impact Investment Company. The company looked amazing from my research and they were also offering internships on their marketing track! Of course, I applied. 

To cut the long story short, I wasn’t placed on the Marketing track. Instead, I was placed on my second choice (although in my head, it wasn’t really a choice)…the Education track. Now don’t get me wrong – I have always thought about what a career in education would be like, but I had been exposed to enough experiences that I felt I could rule it out. However, to sike myself up, I convinced myself that despite my exposure, I could use just one more experience in the Education sector to really, truly decide whether or not it was for me. So I took the opportunity. 

Fast forward 1 month, and I began to ask myself why I took this internship in the first place. The company was amazing, I liked my teammates, the work that we were doing was meaningful…but I just didn’t enjoy the thought of continuing the internship for 2 more months. I learned my lessons though, and now I’m here to suggest to you how not to make the mistakes I made when my internship lost its spark.


Do Try to Get Out of It

Looking back, I’m not sure why I never did this, but I tell myself that it’s because I didn’t want to be seen as lazy (especially in a time when no one was doing much, thanks to corona) and because I didn’t want to not finish what I started. However, there might be more ways out of this internship than you think. Maybe explain that you need to focus on another project or take an online class – and then actually do it. It’ll be a better use of your time.

Don’t Make it Obvious

I started my internship with a lot of passion and energy, but I definitely noticed (and I’m sure my boss did too) all that falling away as time went on. I wish I tried harder to keep my energy up even though I stopped enjoying my internship so that I made a better impression. I could have gone out of my way to take initiative and ask more questions, etc even though it would have been hard to do. But hey, when the going gets tough, the tough get going…or at least try to get going.

Do Fill Your Time with Other Stuff You Enjoy

I would have hated my entire summer if it weren’t for this. Spending 15 hours a week doing a job I did not enjoy was draining and so I filled that time doing things I loved. I took online classes that I had wanted to for a while (yes, I’m nerdy like that), I started keeping an ideas journal, I watched at least one movie every day, I tried out hairstyles, I thought about working out…those things kept my energy up.

Don’t Miss the Learning Opportunity

Overall, I used the opportunity to practice my determination and discipline. You’re not always going to find yourself in situations that are ideal and sometimes you may not be able to get out of it. So, you’ll have to make the most of it. It takes a lot, but it’ll teach you a thing or two about never getting yourself in that situation again.

"Let yourself respond authentically to each moment as it arrives without being bound to the narrative of who you think you are."