What to do when your internship stinks

by Evil HR Lady on February 21, 2013

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I’m a college student interning in the HR department at the corporate office of a medium-sized company with a tiny HR department. I was offered two unpaid internships and accepted this one because I was told that they would offer me real experience with hiring practices, policy writing, etc., and very little clerical work. I’m not really sure where the disconnect happened but since I started all I have done is filing. My supervisor is frequently busy and complains that she is given more work than she can handle, but she doesn’t utilize me. She frequently gives me what she thinks is a day’s worth of work, and when I complete it in half the time she says how amazing I am and lets me go early.

I’m not intending this to sound like a giant complaint. I understand the importance of something that looks good on a resume. It’s just that I’m a full-time college student with another job and these hours spent at the internship are very precious to me, and I want to make the most of them. Moreover, I worry that a future employer will see this internship on a resume and assume that I have experience beyond putting pieces of paper into different folders and stapling things. Is there something that I can say to my supervisor that won’t come out sounding ungrateful?

To read the answer click here: What to do when your internship stinks

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth West February 22, 2013 at 2:02 am

Yikes.

I have to do an internship for my writing program (I’ve got some time; it hasn’t started yet). If I can’t do it at my new company, I’ll have to do it remotely. I’m going to remember this post, in case I end up with something crappy.

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Charles February 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Suzanne, that last line of yours is, I think, very important – Let the school know. Even if it won’t be of much help to the OP, at least the school (if they are on top of things anyway) can be on the look out for other students down the road by helping them to avoid this place.

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