An internship is a great way for students to get an insight into a career path before they ultimately
choose which career path they would like to take. This can be very beneficial as you could love your
internship and decide to follow that path or else you could hate your internship and you would then
choose to follow another path, either way it is very helpful. As helpful as internships may be, every
time you hear of a group of students going on work placement there is always a problem with one or
more of them. This is probably the reason the college co-ordinator gave my class such a stern talking
to before we went on placement. I will now go through some common mistakes that have been
made by interns in the past.
Many interns act as if they don’t care about their job, they see it as more of a hindrance than an
opportunity. I recall one my close friends who is up in Dublin on placement telling me:
“I hate my placement, I just want to do my time and go home!”
Believe it or not he is actually working for an accountancy firm not doing time in prison. It’s as if
some students don’t care about their future careers.
Using your phone, logging on to your facebook and other social media websites or sending private
emails is not a good way to impress your new employers. It is not okay to use your iPod when you
are meant to be working even if it’s not distracting other employees. It’s a better idea to stick the
responsibilities of your job and act in a professional manner.
Being too passive
It doesn’t matter how intelligent interns are, if they lack interpersonal skills they will miss out on
opportunities. If a work placement student is too shy to give their opinion on subject when they
are asked or if they are too embarrassed to ask for assistance when having trouble with a task. An
intern’s supervisor may get fed up with them if they are afraid to ask for assistance if they keep
Being too casual
Many students misinterpret business casual for casual, our course co-ordinator tired to stress this
when he was giving us a talk before we went on placement:
“Lads make sure ye don’t show up to work looking like ye are going to Reardons straight
after work, It’s business casual not casual!”
It’s very important to check what the dress standards are for the company before you start, but
jeans and t-shirts are normally a BIG no.
You may have been selected for internship over some of your classmates for your grades or your
interpersonal skills but that is no reason to be overconfident. A company doesn’t want a shy intern
but the last thing they want is a new employee who is cocky. You must be able to accept criticism
in your work place, you won’t be able stroll into an office and know exactly how everything works