‘Leaving An Internship’ Checklist
Because doing coffee runs won’t look well in your resume
Before publishing this article, asked a couple of my closest friends what they thought about me writing an article encouraging people to quit their useless internship.
The reactions were…..mixed
The “Those Damn Millennials” reaction:
This is a perfect example of how entitled this generation is!
You expect the rest of us to hand down everything to you guys on a silver platter. When I got my first job, I had to walk fifteen miles to the closest cafe while carrying three trays of coffee. Uphill. Both ways. In the snow!
And the “What did you expect?” reaction:
Uh, its an internship.
What, did you think you would be running the company after three months? Learn as much as you can, and be grateful for what you’ve got. Remember, you are still just a college/grad student.
A few you of probably had the same reactions.
And I tend to partially agree with people who think along these lines. Interns have to expect to deal with some grunt work that might not be necessarily teaching them anything useful, this includes running errands, filing documents, answering phones, etc.
This kind of mind-numbing work is not only limited to interns mind you, entry-level employees know the problems of being the new guy/girl at the office very well.
But my problem has to do with companies who deceitfully lie on their job postings to trick students into thinking they will gain relevant knowledge in their field; when they are actually unknowingly signing-up for something that is completely different
I’ve had my fair share of misleading internships offers as a student. From Marketing positions that ended up being more of a “post things on our Facebook and Twitter on your way to USPS to pick up that package” gig, to “by business development internship we mean making sure our office is clean” kind of positions.
And I know I’m not the only one who gets these offers, every semester I have to see my friends get into unnecessary time wasters because “it will look good on the resume”.
Why waste your time? A flashy internship title means nothing without the experience that should’ve come with it.
With this in mind, I created a checklist of that could help some of you know recognize when is time to leave your internship.
‘Leaving Your Internship’ Checklist
- The Starbucks Barista knows your work schedule better than your own boss.
I swear this is the last time I will mention coffee runs on this blog, but If I wanted to fetch coffee for people on a daily basis, I would have become a Barista in the first place.
- There isn’t a clear internship program or a plan.
The best internships available today are developed several months in advance to provide the interns with a compelling experience. If you feel the organization where you are interning is just ‘winging it’, then you should consider looking for other places to work at.
- If you are only given chores, not tasks.
Pretty self explanatory. Look for experiences that are engaging and will make you think, not the ones that you could do in your sleep.
- You paid internship conveniently turns into an unpaid one right after you start
Happened to me once. Unless you are interning at Google or something, this type of sketchy tactics are a huge red flag
- You are working in an abusive environment
Unfortunately sexual harassment and discrimination is a real problem for interns in the U.S. This applies to all types of work: If you don’t feel comfortable working somewhere then leave, its not worth it.
- You are an intern at a Multi-Level-Marketing company
Ever heard of a pyramid scheme?
Explaining what an MLM is and why they are such a waste of time would take me a really long time. Thankfully, someone who is a billion times more talented already explained it.
- When past interns leave bad reviews online
Websites like Glassdoor are a great resource for interns and job applicants. There are thousands of reviews left by past interns on their experience working at different companies. Take these reviews with a grain of salt though.
Thanks for reading!
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