My first internship experience

During my first internship I ran into into multiple complications, which of course occurred due to lack of clear communication.  When I first started the internship everything was completely normal, and I was an eager person ready to learn and gain experience from the wonderful opportunity. On my first day I received a folder that had general information regarding the company and a paper that had a list of tasks to do. My supervisor and I sat together and went through the folder. Communication between us seemed mutual. She verbally read my tasks that were on the paper, and I understood what I had to get done.

One of the first assignments I had to complete was to do research about five certain topics and write notes about it. My supervisor clearly stated that there was no rush for the assignments to be done, because she wanted quality notes. Me being the eager, focused, and determined person went straight to researching on my first topic and found an ample amount of information that I thought would please her. I continued to do research on the other topics throughout my week. The following week my supervisor went on vacation for two weeks and I have already finished my research topics. I was starting my other assignment that included writing and scheduling posts on their Facebook for the next week.  I completed assignment number 2 within two days. Being the type of person I am, I take work seriously and I always want to make sure that I am working efficiently.  So I took initiative to schedule future Facebook posts for the company, because while my supervisor went away she did not leave me with any more tasks to complete.

When she came back from vacation I showed her my completed responsibilities for the internship. She reviewed it and told me that my notes were amazing. Later on in my internship, I find out that my supervisor isn’t satisfied with my work and had a lot of complaints about me. Strange right?

One of her complaints was that I did not type my notes.  I was very confused that she felt dissatisfied about my notes because she reviewed my notes and said they were great. She never communicated with me, that she would like my research notes to be typed. I find out that she “assumed” that I would type my notes because I am a college senior. I disagreed with her because being a college senior has nothing to do with typing notes. In lecture classes most students still handwrite notes, including me.  I think if my supervisor clearly communicated with me about what she wants instead of assuming, everything would’ve been fine and just the way she wanted.

Unfortunately, my supervisor does not see any fault about her communication breakdown with me; she viewed the communication breakdown as a fault on my behalf.

I think the purpose of an internship is to learn, experience, and gain knowledge that would help you with your future career. Even though there has been a communication deficit within my internship with my supervisor, I still appreciate the internship because I am learning. I just needed my supervisor to understand that while I was there to help with projects for their company, it was my first internship and I was still an undergraduate student in college that was not fully equipped with professional knowledge. Reason being was because there is no course at SUNY Albany (my alma mater) offered that explains the dos and don’ts of the professional world. Hence, that is why I was in an internship to learn.

Anyone have any bad internship experiences?


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