When to say no to internship requests

Internships are meant to be meaningful learning experiences that you can take with you all throughout your blossoming career. You will want to make a good impression and be respectful to everyone you meet. However, there are times you may feel as though you are being taken advantage of. Learn when it is time to put your foot down and be assertive without burning important business bridges. Here are appropriate times that it is okay to say no to an internship request.

Working Unreasonable Hours

As with a regular job, you should be assigned designated hours that you are required to work during your internship. Even though some projects can occasionally run late, you should never be expected to regularly work extreme hours. If you happen to notice a pattern of these obligations placed upon you, it’s time to address the situation, especially if you also have coursework you need to balance. Recant what hours were agreed upon at the initial point of the internship with your superior. Although you may not want to make waves, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Even though you are not a full time employee, it’s never profitable to allow bad trends to run their course.

Working too late

Too Much Busy Work 

The term “intern” is a widely used stereotype for the person who does all the busy work and runs meaningless errands. In the real world of internships, companies are held liable to deliver a hands on experience in the industry that will benefit both parties involved, especially if the intern is receiving academic credit, is unpaid, or both. Unless you are interning to be a personal assistant, there is no reason that you should constantly be treated like one. When an employer is not meeting their half of the bargain, there needs to be some concessions made.

In order to remedy the problem, you must bring your concerns to the attention of management. Politely state that you would like to feel more challenged in your work and are willing to step things up to learn what you need to make the internship a success. Employers value a hard worker who isn’t afraid to step up to the plate.

Questionable Duties

If you are ever uncomfortable completing a task because you fear it will cross some legal boundaries, stop in your tracks. Don’t be the puppet that does someone’s dirty work. First you will need to evaluate the task and determine whether it is an illegal practice. Next you must bring your concerns to your superiors. Simply state that you think that the task is illegal and that you don’t want to do anything wrong that will hurt the company name. Chances are there was a mistake made in the assignment. If indeed your suspicions are true and the task was no mistake, take the matter to the proper authorities to prevent future interns from falling into the same trap.

Stand up for yourself gracefully during your internship. Talk with your manager on a regular basis so that situations can be diffused before any trouble arises. You will gain more respect by being forthcoming versus slandering the company name.

Visit www.bridge.jobs to search for internships in Rhode Island and be assertive yet subtle on your next internship assignment.

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About bridge.jobs

Bridge is a program that focuses on connecting employers and students in Rhode Island. The goal of Bridge is to match Rhode Island employers with talented students looking to gain valuable professional experience. Applying knowledge and skills acquired in college to a professional setting is a vital component of a student’s college education. Students who gain relevant internship experience are better prepared for full-time employment after graduation. By hiring interns, employers gain qualified, career-driven young professionals as employees. Student bring with them exposure to cutting edge practices and technology, new insights and philosophies, flexibility and a thirst for knowledge. bRIdge has a particular focus on connecting students and employers from specialized fields such as Business, Science, IT, Technology, Health, Design, Engineering and Manufacturing. The bRIdge website allows employers to post paid or unpaid internships online and directly reach out to a vast and talented pool of students. College students and recent graduates can sign up and start looking for an appropriate professional learning opportunity in minutes. bRIdge is a program of the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) and RISLA’s College Planning Center of Rhode Island. RISLA has joined up with Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island (AICURI), the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education (RIBGHE) and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce to bring together academia, business and community. If you have any questions about this program or if you need any assistance, please feel free to contact us.

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