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How to Find Out if Your Internship is Good or Bad?

An internship offers you an excellent opportunity to test if the chosen career suits your personality or not? Even more, you get to do the things you learned in your school/ college practically. Although all internships promise you a lot of exposure in your field of work and a rewarding future, not all internships turn out to be that good. More than often, the students feel that their internship was a complete wastage of time.

In order to help you make informed career decisions and to ensure your internship offers you a rewarding experience, we have compiled a list of issues you need to pay heed to while distinguishing a good internship from one that is bad:


Does the company you’re planning to join conduct a formal training for interns? Only if that company takes the training of interns seriously, you can expect it to offer you a rewarding learning experience. If there is a failure in offering any training, there is going to be a complete mismatch between your expectations and offerings. To avoid this, it is important that you express your desire for learning new things to your supervisor. You need to be honest about what you know and what you would want to learn.

Task Performance

What is the nature of work that is given to you?

Are you made to perform menial tasks that are not even a part of your work but are related to your supervisor or boss?

As an intern, your duty is to improve your performance and work towards expanding your skill set. Your duty is not to perform chores that are not related to your job. It is, therefore, better to have a clear understanding of job roles from the day one itself. In case you’re given any jobs that add no value and are dull or boring, your internship is going to be a complete waste of time and it won’t either offer you great career prospects.

Defined Authority

Is it that your managers are always too busy to offer you any work?

It could be that they are not interested in investing any time on you to explain the things, guide or assist you and get the work done from you. Or, it could be there is no clarity on who is supposed to delegate tasks to you. In such a scenario, you would never know what you are supposed to do and you don’t even understand the reason for your being there. And if your objective behind doing the internship was to expand your skill set, there is hardly any scope for learning and growth at such a place.

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Career Advancement

Even though the employers hardly guarantee interns anything significant in terms of their career advancement, there are bright chances for them to get placed as full-time employees in the same company where they finish their internship. But this might not be the case with you. In case you’re willing to become a part of that organization as a full-time employee, it is best to talk to your employer and tell him/ her about your willingness to join his/ her company. But if there is no convincing answer from him/ her, you know there is nothing much to expect.

Reason Why You Got Hired

Is it that the organization hired you to replace an employee who just quit or was fired?

If yes, it means you’re being made to do the work of a salaried employee as an unpaid intern. This directly implies that you employer is taking advantage of you which is illegal. As it might not be easy to find out that this has happened, you need to be vigilant and do your ground work by talking around to know what has been going in the company since past few months.


Are you made to take work home even after you complete the committed number of hours at your workplace?

When you work as an intern, your job is to spend agreed amount of time in employer’s premises and finish your work there and then. But when you’re made to do extra work, it implies your employer is taking advantage of you and you must not let that happen.

If you made to face any or all of the issues given above, you must consider speaking to your supervisor or employer on how you feel about your internship and try to work out something. Else you might just have to quit your internship as it can, otherwise, prove to be harmful to your career goals and aspirations.

Related Article: Pros and Cons of Internships

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