30 August 2008

When Internships Are Boring

What to Tolerate
  • Temporary spells of boredom
  • Assignments that everyone rotates through
  • Occasional menial tasks
When to Speak Up
  • You've been waiting for more than 1 day for tasks
  • A boring assignment extends past a week
  • Other interns are escaping boredom
Who to Speak Up To
  • Your internship/practicum campus instructor
  • If your site has one, the Intern Coordinator
  • Your mentor at the site
A realistic expectation for any internship is that boredom can occur. The most common reason is in timing: an intern arrives at the site before tasks are fully developed or the on-site mentor is called away just as the intern is arriving. The result is often that the intern is put "on hold."

The wise intern's best reaction is to have patience. Be certain that your supervisors know that you are in waiting mode, and then settle in for the wait. You may be offered a manual or two to read, or you can use the time on your own to fully explore the organization's web site.

Keep a good humor about the situation! Say "I'm eager to begin my tasks," instead of "I'm bored." Everyone at the site will appreciate your attitude.

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

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