Q. I am a disoriented person at the IT organisation where I am currently interning. While the recruitment process was highly competitive, my experience here has been underwhelming only two months into the internship.
Most of the times I am made to run errands for colleagues, with hardly anything to learn. Should I stay put for the remaining four months or should I quit already?
Don’t quit just yet. Many interns undertake mundane tasks at start of their assignments, you won’t be the first. That said, there are good and bad errands.
Being sent to pick, drop or photocopy documents or prepare a meeting room and schedule meetings is good for you to understand your way around.
Being asked to run personal errands – paying for bills, bank errands, laundry, buying lunch or coffee- is unprofessional and I am sure it is against your company policy. But do not lose hope. A lot of learning can happen in the next months if you play your cards well.
By now your colleagues have a good sense of your attitude, obviously they like you for the wrong reasons – running their errands.
You too have had a chance to know them, and by now have some good understanding of those who take you seriously.
Look for the right opportunity to engage them in deeper work related discussions. Let them know you have capability to do more.
Have a list of the things you wish to learn about and when the opportunity presents it’s self,get involved.
Waiting for them to figure out how to enrich your learning may take a while. But if you show them you are dependable and can complete tasks, you will soon have more than you can handle. Sometimes there may be tasks that are left hanging within the area you have been assigned.
Take initiative and get these assignments completed efficiently.
Lastly, I am sure you have been assigned a supervisor who has the responsibility to review your assignments and learning progress.
Share your learning experience so far. Tell them the specific areas of interest where you know you could add value.
Always remember that if you do not speak up you will not get heard, and good opportunities will pass you by.