Most students in college are always stressing over internships, myself included. Everyone wants to work at their dream summer internship so it could possibly lead to job opportunities in the future. Although it’s good to aim for amazing internships, sometimes that dream internship isn’t all that it’s made out to be. What happens if you get stuck at an internship that you absolutely hate? Here are seven ways to survive and thrive at an internship that you may not necessarily enjoy:
- Make a list of all the pros that you will gain from the experience
The best way to get through a bad experience is to think of all the ways that you will benefit from the internship in your future. Maybe it could lead to new network connections, new friends, or even just getting credit for school. Every opportunity is a learning experience even if it isn’t something you necessarily enjoy. All you can do is try to think of all the positives and not dwell on the negative.
- Realize that it won’t last forever
Most internships are not usually that long, so it’s not too hard to power through only a few months. Sometimes just knowing that there’s a short time frame will make it easier to stick it out for the whole time. It might seem like a lot of time, but in reality, it probably will go by quicker than you think.
- Befriend your coworkers
One way to make the time pass away quickly is by becoming friends with the people that you work with! There may even be other interns working at the company and they may also feel the same way about the internship as you do. It could help you realize that you’re not alone in how you’re feeling. You could even make lifetime friends. You never know!
- Keep yourself busy
If you have an internship where they don’t give you a ton to do so you end up just spending 80% of the day sitting around doing nothing, it’s a good idea to ask or find more things to do around the workplace. You could ask your boss to give you more assignments to keep you busy. If they don’t have much for you to do, you could create other tasks for yourself. Maybe if you’re working during the school year, you can bring schoolwork or other tasks you’ve been procrastinating on. It will help make a boring experience at least more productive.
- Write down what you don’t like about your internship
What’s the real reason you don’t like your internship? Try to write down the things you don’t like so you can discover the things that you want to look for in your next internship. Sometimes it’s a good thing to have job experiences that you don’t enjoy because it will show you what you don’t want to be doing. It’s completely normal to decide you want to go down a different career path after having an internship.
- Do the best you can do while you’re working
At the very least, just do your best at the work given to you. Show them how hard of a worker you are and go get that glowing recommendation letter! At the end of the day, all you can do is try your hardest at everything you do. People will definitely notice if you are going above and beyond.
- If there is a specific problem that is bothering you, speak to someone about it
If someone at your job is treating you horribly or working you way over time, speak to someone in a higher role at the company to make sure that it gets taken care of. If the reason that you don’t like your internship is because of one specific thing that can be resolved, it’s okay to speak up and try and fix the problem.
Although you will always hear people talk about how amazing their internships are, just know that it is perfectly okay to not enjoy your internships. A lot of people are probably just as unhappy as you. Just remember to stick it out and it will be over sooner than you know it!