When people go for an internship, they try to do everything right, such as getting the correct papers, proper clothes, and learning how to speak the corporate language.

The interns are, in most cases, ready to prove that they have been studying by showing off the things they know. I was in this boat, and before long, it started to sink.

Nothing is as frustrating as trying to prove yourself only to find out that there is so much to learn, and unlike college, you do always have a textbook to tell you what to follow.

3 mistakes at my internship that taught me the most

A fall into the pit, a gain in your wit, they say. So here you have the three mistakes I made at my internship that made me grow.

1. Forgetting the pre and post-internship phases

When starting out, I thought that I knew what to do and how to deliver. After all, I have been studying and doing well in school. But the internship is not about what you know, but what you can learn.

This is an opportunity to increase work experience and not to show off

The founder of Text Book, Assault Greg, Brooks said that movies, blogs, and other media are what impact the interns on what to expect and how to contribute.

Before heading to any company, it is best to know that each firm has a different culture. So, no matter how much you are qualified, you cannot fit in any work environment without learning about its culture. 

Find out how things are run, the language used, and the relationship that the workers have. Otherwise, you will end up being the black sheep that no one wants to associate with, and this is not a pleasant experience. 

After the internship, write a thank-you note, especially to your supervisor as you never know when you might need them to put in a good word for you.

2. Defending mistakes

Many interns are of the opinion that they do not need to do a perfect job; after all, they are new. However, this is an assumption that might cost you a lot.

Supervisors and your co-workers understand you are new in this job and might make some mistakes. However, when an error takes place, one should never argue.

Worrying too much about a slip up that has already happened and trying to defend yourself can be annoying. If a blunder has happened, the best thing is to apologize and learn from it. Make sure that you do not repeat it again.

One of the ways you can avoid mistakes is by asking for clarification. In case the task is not clear, request for more details. Do not tackle any project without the possession of all the information and resources needed. Make use of big data business intelligence to understand the firm’s operation better.

At the same time, you should ask for help and advice. Some mistakes could cause you a lot no matter how much you apologize since you cannot possibly make up for them.

3. Expecting too much

The career coach and founder of The Hired Group, Ryan Kahn, said that most of the internships start slow and then build up. A high number of interns expect to get a red carpet welcome when they get to the respective firms.

Always remember that you are an intern but carry yourself as a professional

However, not all the companies have a structured training program; and therefore, the interns are always required to roll up their sleeves. It might start out as uninteresting, and you may get menial tasks, and this can be frustrating especially if you expected an office with your name on the door.

When you show high ethical standards with the menial tasks, your employer and the people you are working with will slowly start entrusting you with more challenging and fun assignments.

The mistake that most of the interns make is to avoid menial tasks. Thus, they end up being ignored when opportunities come up.

So, handle any job you get quickly and cheerfully, and you will slowly get recognition. However, do not be taken advantage off. Even if you are working for no pay, learning is a must. If you find that you are not learning, you should point this out to your supervisor.

For current interns, these are the common mistakes to avoid. Be prepared and when you walk into the firm, leave your pride and know-it-all attitude at home.

What do you think about the article? Do you have any other tips for achieving success at out internships to share? Leave a comment in the comment section below!

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