Four Surefire Ways To Bungle Your Internship

Posted January 15, 2020 by Mark Perna

Cash in on a great career opportunity by avoiding these four common mistakes. Mark’s article, “Four Surefire Ways To Bungle Your Internship,” published at on January 14, 2020.

Now’s the time for college-aged kids to rev up their search for an internship. If you’re one of them, you know there’s tons of advice out there on how to land one, especially one that pays. But the question is, if you’re lucky enough to get a paid internship, what are you going to do with it?

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Although a paid internship offers many great benefits—gainful career development, prime networking opportunities, and practical on-the-job experience, among them—lots of people bungle theirs big time. How? By making four common mistakes:

1. They are ho-hum. Only there to pump up their résumé, they exude little to no energy or excitement and resist learning new skills or ideas. They may be on the clock, but mentally they just punch in—and out.

2. They play it safe. Why stretch and grow when you can stay in your comfort zone and stick with the status quo? (Or so they think.) Rather than be a self-starter—even when their manager is watching—they squander opportunities to challenge themselves and actually start developing as a careerist.

3. They do the bare minimum. If there’s slack time, they twiddle their thumbs rather than proactively seek out a new task or project. And, to boot, they often distract other workers, attempting to chat them up until the boss gives them something to do.

4. They become the office know-it-all. They assume that they know more than everyone else, even the elders who have been working at the company for years. That’s why they frequently butt in and give their unsolicited advice to others. And in their effort to impress or wow people, they’re not doing what they’re being paid to do: work.

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So that’s how not to bungle your paid internship. Now, stay tuned for my next post: You’ll learn some really great ways to crush it.

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About The Author
Mark Perna
Mark C. Perna is an international speaker and bestselling author. He also serves as CEO of TFS Results, a strategic consulting firm at the forefront of the national paradigm shift in education and workforce development.
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