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Five Signs Your Internship Is Bogus

Five Signs Your Internship Is Bogus

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson

After landing a coveted internship, you may be expecting exciting projects that lie ahead.

But when you arrive at the office, you are escorted to your "workspace," which is really a closet in disguise. You shrug this off, thinking it's only temporary. But what if you are wrong? What if this is really your desk and this internship is not quite what it was hyped up to be? Here are five signs that your internship is nothing more than a glorified clerical position.

No Plan Upon Arrival

You show up and there is no plan for your assimilation into the organization. Figuring this must be a test of your ability to take initiative, you ask to see your job description. The only item listed is "other duties as assigned." Clearly there must be a mistake.

Exclusion from the Monday Huddle

You have read about them and finally you are in a position to attend a Monday morning huddle meeting. This is where you and the other "executives in training" get to share thought-provoking ideas about the strategy of the company. Only you have not been invited to attend. Instead, you are asked to answer the phones and refill the coffee pot.

A Similar Job to Yours Is Posted

You happen to be cruising the Internet doing "research," and you see a posting for a clerical position for your firm that sounds remarkably like the job you are doing. Only the position does not require any college education.

You then realize the tasks you are doing are more mundane than what friends of yours are doing in their internships. You keep thinking things will improve, but they never do.

No Challenging Work

The challenging work seems to be hidden. You keep trying to take more responsibility but your boss keeps piling on the dry cleaning. You keep assuring yourself that this task must somehow be related to "dressing for success."

No Meeting with the CEO

The last day of your internship is Friday, and you are still waiting to catch a glimpse of the CEO. Nor have you interacted with anyone on the senior management team. But you have certainly gotten to know their assistants.

While the overall ordeal may be disappointing, you have learned a valuable lesson. This experience has taught you exactly what an internship is not about.

[Copyright 2008 Human Resource Solutions -- All rights reserved -- Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the president of Human Resource Solutions a firm that helps companies align their people assets with their business goals.]  

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