I work with interns, lots of interns.  It is fun.  A lot of fun.  They make me smile most days.  I really enjoy their youth, enthusiasm, energy, and just Joie de Vivre.  My internship program is about converting people to full time.  So, it’s about bringing in people, and seeing if they’re a fit for the company.  It’s a prolonged interview, if you like.  While most interns do a fantastic job, every once in a while, I get one that just doesn’t seem to get it.  This would probably apply to the work force in general, but since I mostly work with interns, these rules are particularly true in that arena.

In my group, if you come in, work hard, and do great work, show enthusiasm, and have a clue and motivation, you’re highly likely to get converted to full time.  There are a few times when it won’t happen, and we figure out that the job isn’t a good fit.  There are a few telltale signs…

How to Mess up a Perfectly Good Internship

  • Spend endless hours on the internet playing games. Youtube is a particular favorite of mine.  Other distractions to focus on include the video game room, and the foosball table.  Heck, with all the distractions, it could be hard to find time to get work done.
  • Come in Late, and leave Early.  Life’s hard.  You need your sleep, every day.  And you know, you’ve always got stuff to do.
  • Take Long Lunches.   This works very well in conjunction with the previous suggestion.
  • When you get stuck, just sit there and play more games on the internet, because that will help you figure it out.
  • When someone answers a question, don’t write down the answers.  Make sure you ask the same person the same exact question at least a dozen times.  The engineers on the team love answering the same question over and over again.

What do you think?  What are your top tips for messing up a perfectly good internship?