Internship Challenges Every Intern Face as a Newbie — Your first step in your work life. You are just finished with your courses and ready to implement your learned knowledge into actions. If not implemented, at least see how all those bookish knowledge is being used in corporate life. However, you exactly don’t know what to expect or predict.
So how does it feel? Excited? Nervous? Not sure what to say? Where to go? Whom to ask? Lonely? Confused? Hesitation to talk? All at the same? Yes, that’s right. Here are some everyday Internship Challenges you face as an intern and can relate to, right from your first day.
15 Internship Challenges Every Intern Face as a Newbie in Office
Table of Contents
- 1. The First Day Reactions
- 2. Awkward Introductions
- 3. Too Many Information Absorption
- 4. Self-ice-breaking sessions
- 5. No-Work!
- 6. Common Internship Challenges: How to do the work?
- 7. Should I ask? Whom should I ask? What shall I say when asking?
- 8. The perception that you don’t know/you know
- 9. Internship Challenges: Understanding the office culture
- 10. Should I be friendly? Or a bit reserved?
- 11. Should I go for lunch now? Can I leave?
- 12. How to ask for a leave?
- 13. Understanding teamwork
- 14. Understanding the Organogram
- 15. So how was my work?
- 1. How to Write a Resume (Project-Centered Course) by The State University of New York
- 2. Business English: Networking
- 3. Internship Courses: Improve Your English Communication Skills Specialization
- 4. Write Professional Emails in English
- 5. Speak English Professionally: In Person, Online & On the Phone
1. The First Day Reactions
It’s the day of your joining. You’re early. Dressed formally and carefully, in your best professional attire, because you know first impression matters. You try to start early from your home. And panic if you’re being late. You’re excited but you’re nervous too.
2. Awkward Introductions
So, you reached the office and now is your orientation. You’re introduced to a lot of people. Actually, too many people to remember the names and their department/designations. You might politely say them, hello but you don’t really know what to say next. So you remain awkwardly quiet.
3. Too Many Information Absorption
Your orientation is not finished yet. You get a brief (not really brief!) introductions to the company profile, what they do and all the HR facilities/bindings. The information comes at such a velocity that before even processing one part comes the other parts.
And the data gets jumbled on your head resulting in the ultimate perplexed expression in your face. Moreover, when you’re asked, “are you clear on these?” you just simply give a hesitated nod or a quick ‘yes sir’.
4. Self-ice-breaking sessions
You’re still in confusion state. Not sure how to socialize with your colleagues/supervisor is a major challenge for you. If there are other interns joining with you, you tend to adjust to the office environment more easily than if you’re the only intern joining.
This is more of a challenge for the introverts out there than the extroverts. More or less, everyone takes time for the ice-breaking sessions during the first step of career.
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One of your main expectations as an intern is to do some work, some practical office works. Alas! During the first weeks, you don’t get that much of a work other than some printing or scanning.
Yes, at least you learn the printing or scanning machine jobs but you’re here to contribute much more than that. Deprived of work is the main reason for your boredom in the internship.
6. Common Internship Challenges: How to do the work?
Finally, you’ve been assigned to some work, some real work. But umm… how to progress? You know a number of ways to do it but is there any particular way your supervisor demands from you? You’re confused. You don’t get enough guidelines or directions.
7. Should I ask? Whom should I ask? What shall I say when asking?
Your biggest hesitation lies in asking questions. What if asking question will create an impression that you don’t know anything? Will they perceive you as silly? So many thoughts roaming through your mind.
You’re not even sure which of your colleagues will help you or will they feel disturbed. You feel hesitated in interrupting them.
8. The perception that you don’t know/you know
Here comes your another challenge. Often your supervisor may perceive that either you know everything about a particular task or you don’t know anything at all since you’re a newbie. This affects your confidence to some extent.
Either way, when your manager has the confidence that you can do the job, you get a little nervous since you’re new. Then again, when a manager perceives you don’t know, you try to think of ways to make him understand that you can manage the work.
9. Internship Challenges: Understanding the office culture
It sure takes time to understand the office culture. Since every organizational culture varies from office to office. Some have a rigid structure while others are flexible.
Though organizations are moving more towards flexibility nowadays, some offices do have some strict policies. Then again, there are some internal differences too.
For example, the marketing department may be more of social, fun-loving than the finance department. The vice-versa may happen too.
During your first weeks of socializing struggles, trying to observe the organizational behavior is a challenge here too. Your perception is very important here since according to that you progress on socializing.
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10. Should I be friendly? Or a bit reserved?
The first step to your socialization begins with this question to yourself. And you try to find its answers by understanding the organizational culture. Also, you try to understand what is expected of you. These common Internship Challenges are critical as a newbie.
Is will being friendly be not welcomed and treated as over-friendly? Or shall remaining quiet and doing the job will create the impression you want to create?
11. Should I go for lunch now? Can I leave?
This is the minor challenge you face or not even a challenge you might say. Sure, the HR representative informed you all the basic policies and you know the lunch hour and exit time.
Still, you feel a minor hesitation while getting up from your seat for lunch or leaving. Should you ask your line manager? Should you lunch with him or is it okay to have lunch before him?
This might be just for the first few days. After understanding the certain pattern of your office, you don’t face this minor hesitation anymore.
12. How to ask for a leave?
Here comes your most feared question, “Sir, can I take a leave?” There might be various genuine reasons for your leave: family emergency, university formalities, sickness, etc.
Still, you worry about your impression or the reaction of your boss. It takes a moment of internal preparation to ask the boss for leave.
13. Understanding teamwork
Understanding team work is one of the biggest Internship Challenges because teamwork in the professional sector is a lot different than your projects at varsity. Miscommunication, misinterpretation of the actual objectives, different opinions of team members are common and varies than that of the project group work you’ve done.
Also, mishaps in internal communication also affect your work. You find yourself not sure how to resolve in many cases.
14. Understanding the Organogram
The hierarchy differs from organization to organization; some have complex and tall while some have flat. The hierarchy often gets difficult to understand during the first few weeks.
And you should know it since you need to be clear whom you’re reporting and who is reporting to whom.
15. So how was my work?
So you’re regular at your office and completing the jobs instantly to create a lasting impression and let the supervisor see the potential in you. However, you get no feedback.
You might get an informal “good job” from the boss but you still don’t know if your work is up to the mark, do you need to improve or not. You are even ready for constructive criticism but the lack of proper feedback doesn’t encourage you.
These are the common problems encountered in the internship. Some of you faced some of the above situations, some of you can relate to all of them. However, you continue with the expectation that you’ll get adjusted soon. True. For the solutions to the common Internship Challenges Every Intern Face as a Newbie, you should know that the advantage of being a newbie is that no one will burden you with loads of work and they expect questions from you.
So, freely ask questions where you get confused, try to blend in with the office people, socializing with colleagues will help you to adjust to the office and with the work too.
Bonus: 6 Best Online Internship Courses To Skyrocket Your Career
1. How to Write a Resume (Project-Centered Course) by The State University of New York
In this project-centered course, you will craft an essential cornerstone of the modern-day job or internship search: the resume. You’ll review resume best practices and explore current trends with guidance from a professional career counselor and recruiter, and you’ll exchange structured feedback with your peers as you work to polish your own resume. When you complete the course, you’ll have an eye-catching resume that lets your professional strengths shine.
- Introduction to the Course & Resumes
- The Foundation of your Resume: A Self-Inventory
- Writing Content for your Resume
- Piecing it all Together: Organization, Structure, Format
- Know your Industry
- Best-Practices for your Resume from an Employer
- Frequently Asked Questions
Instructor: Holly Justice, Career Counselor, University at Buffalo Career Services
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
2. Business English: Networking
This course begins with a welcome message and an overview of the Specialization. After this introduction, you will be asked to take a proficiency test to see if this course is right for you.
During the course, you will begin learning vocabulary and customs related to socializing and networking in English. The goal is to enable you to interact with business contacts in person, on the phone and over email in a professional way.
Course Learning Objectives:
- Determine whether the objectives of this Specialization align with your learning goals
- Evaluate your current level of proficiency in business English communication
- Present relevant information about yourself in a discussion forum
- Develop your networking skills
- Write short emails with appropriate formatting
- Recognize and produce formal and informal language in emails
- Develop vocabulary related to jobs and companies
- 40% started a new career after completion of the courses
- 83% got a tangible career benefit from the course
- 14% got a pay increase or promotion
Instructor: Richard Moore, Extension Lecturer, International & English Language Programs, UW Educational Outreach
Created by: The University of Washington
Rating: 4.7 out of 5.
3. Internship Courses: Improve Your English Communication Skills Specialization
Description: Improve Your English Communication Skills. Write and speak more professionally in English to increase your business success. There are 4 Courses in this Specialization
- Write Professional Emails in English
- Speak English Professionally: In Person, Online & On the Phone
- Build Your Professional ePortfolio in English
- Take Your English Communication Skills to the Next Level
All of the Instructors are from Georgia Tech Language Institute:
- Gerry Landers, Lecturer,
- Amalia B. Stephens, Lecturer,
- Karen Peterson, Lecturer
Created by: The Georgia Institute of Technology
Rating: 4.7 out 5.
4. Write Professional Emails in English
This is a course to help you write effective business emails in English. This course is unique because each module will provide tips on writing more professional emails as well as lessons to improve your overall English writing skills. Therefore, you will improve your grammar and vocabulary skills for email writing and also improve your cross-cultural knowledge to make you more powerful and successful in your business communication.
- 48% started a new career after completing these courses
- 83% got a tangible career benefit from the course
- 14% got a pay increase or promotion
Instructors: Gerry Landers, Lecturer
Course Provider: The Georgia Institute of Technology
Rating: 4.7 out 5.
5. Speak English Professionally: In Person, Online & On the Phone
Do you want to speak better English? This course will help you reach that goal. Speak English Professionally: In person, Online and On the Phone will boost your English speaking skills. In this 5 week course, you will learn how to identify and make a strong personal introduction. You will develop and demonstrate the speaking skills for group discussions: how to agree or disagree, how to clarify, restate and summarize.
- 70% started a new career after completing these courses
- 83% got a tangible career benefit from this course
- 38% got a pay increase or promotion
Instructors: Amalia B. Stephens, Lecturer
Created by: Georgia Institute of Technology
Rating: 4.6 out 5.
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Saika Mehnaz, graduating from North South University, Bangladesh is currently working in the Branding sector of Omera Gas One Ltd. She majored in Marketing and HR. Apart from creatively working in Branding, she also has a passion for writing about her personal experiences and what she learned from them. She loves to read books in her free time. Learn more about her @ LinkedIn