Every year, the recruiters wait for summer because it’s the time for interns to knock on their doors. It's not just the interns who are excited and nervous about their internships, it's the company too. So, imagine their disappointment, when some interns turn out to be the absolute trainwrecks. Most of the time it is not the work but the attitude towards work that rubs the company in the wrong way. In this article, I have rounded up a list of “bad interns”. So, sit back and enjoy the sass.
(Disclaimer: This article is a light-hearted cautionary tale for all the interns out there. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental and not meant to harm any sentiments.)
The Question Mark
As someone who is new to the corporate world, it is expected that you will have questions. And companies often like interns who ask questions. It indicates that you are taking an interest in who they are and what they are doing. However, there is a time, place and way to ask a question.
- Email their superior during weekends (yes! It's not always the boss, interns do it too)
- Won’t ask questions during task briefs, but will have 100 questions later
- Want their doubts to be cleared immediately
- Are often authoritative when they ask questions
If you do all this, then you are a bad intern.
Pro Tip: Instead of barging into your supervisor’s office with every doubt, make a list of things you want to ask, meet him/her on a particular time of the day (when the workload is less) and ask your questions away.
An automaton is someone who comes to work, does what he/she is asked and goes back home. Automatons are not necessarily bad employees, but lack of initiative reflects poorly on their overall performance.
This is someone who is there but no one knows his/her face. Why? Because his/her contribution to work is insignificant. In corporate life, even if you are not contributing your presence sometimes is important. If you are not present, you are missing on events and opportunities that might contribute to your career building.
Sir “takes-a-break” A Lot (Madams Too)
This one is your regular slacker. They will do anything and everything, but work. These types of interns will like to take tea/coffee, lunch, cigarette breaks from anything to 15 to 45 min. Whenever there is a quick huddle up or a meeting, they are never to be found. Why? Because they are taking a break. This kind of behaviour leads to delay in work, excessively long work hours and bad quality of work.
The Overly Attached Intern
One thing you should learn as soon as you start working in a professional setting is to not take things personally. There are interns who get very attached with their projects or task they are given to do and start becoming defensive to any kind of criticism. If you want to continue to work in the corporate space, you will have to develop a tougher skin and learn how to navigate negative comment in a positive manner. Whining, getting aggressive or even crying in front of your coworkers is not a sign of maturity.
An entitled intern is someone who believes they are the “best intern” but in reality, they are really not. In their mind, they are God's gift to the company, so everything should go according to them. If there is something that does not go according to them, they are the first to complain (not to their superior but the CEO). An entitled intern is not much different from an entitled girlfriend/boyfriend. At the end of the summer, they will go back home/B-School and call out the company as the crazy one.
A great example of an entitled intern is, “I am doing MBA from a premier b-school, I want to do things related to strategy development and I don’t want to do fieldwork.”
A know-it-all is not always a bad intern. Their attitude can be great overall and they might be meeting the job’s expectations just fine. However, he/she is a hyper-helper, a.k.a a know-it-all. He/she can be sometimes off-putting and likes to interject with answers to question he/she is not asked, and not always correctly. Even if he/she is great at work, know-it-all behaviour can be a big turn-off.
Meme Credits: Ronit Jadhav