Career Advice

The Wrong Internship

By: Xiaofan Gao
Jun 25, 2020 • 4 min read

Not Fit For The Job?

Do you ever accept an internship offer, only to find out that it’s not the right fit for you? Maybe your job responsibilities don’t align with your skillset, after all. Perhaps you don’t like any of your coworkers. Whatever the case may be, realizing that you don’t want to work there leads to quite the dilemma. What are you supposed to do now? Read on to find out some ways you can deal with this tough situation. 

closeup photo of street go and stop signage displaying stop

Wait a Bit 

Ha, did you think we’d tell you to quit right off the bat? No way! Stick it out for a few days to see if things change. For instance, if you want to leave because you feel underqualified or disoriented, remember that it takes a while for humans to adjust to a new environment. If you don’t like a particular person, see if your opinion of them changes later. During my freshman and sophomore year, I’ve had professors I initially loathed but, after a month, became my favorites! 

Change What You Can 

The internship’s area of focus is out of your control, meaning if the internship was for financial accounting and you find it to be incredibly tedious, chances are that you’ll have to stick with it. Other than that, though, you can attempt to change whatever you don’t enjoy about the internship. For example, if you don’t have enough to keep you busy, let your boss know that you’re ready to handle more tasks. Flipping it around, if you’re too overwhelmed, ask them if they could slow things down a bit. Cite the fact that you just arrived and are still adjusting to the company’s work environment, technology, and culture. What if you have a nasty coworker? Try avoiding them, and, if they keep bothering you, report the person to HR. 

Talk to Your Internship Supervisor

Assuming that several days go by, you’ve done everything you can, and the same feelings persist, sit down with your boss and talk it out. Email them beforehand and ask if they have a few minutes to discuss this. When you have the actual meeting, start off by acknowledging the parts you do like about the internship. This lets them know that a) you’re not nitpicky, and b) you do appreciate them giving you the position. Once you finish, thoroughly explain why you don’t like the internship. Note that you shouldn’t just list things out without elaborating. Many employers are continually seeking to improve their internship programs, so, by voicing your thoughts and opinions, you’re giving them valuable feedback that they can implement for future internship opportunities. Whatever happens next will depend on what your boss says and does, so listen carefully to their decision. If you have any questions, ask. 

rotten green apple

Review Your Internship Contract 

The steps listed above are just general guidelines and do not apply to case-by-case scenarios. Some companies and even industries may have regulations regarding this type of situation, so carefully read the contract you sign before you start working. I hope these tips will help you in case you ever find yourself not liking your internship. 

Have you had any bad internship experiences? Tweet us and share your story! For more helpful content, check out our blog. 

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