Video: The Biggest Mistake Made on Internships

Internships are one of the most valuable parts of any higher education, providing a first glimpse at a real workplace for career driven people. But many students make crucial mistakes while interning that can hurt their networking ability and employment potential. Brian Clapp, Director of Content for WorkinEntertainment.com, explains what he sees as the biggest mistake made on internships by young students trying to find their way.

Take a listen and make sure you don’t make this mistake on any of your internships!


Video Transcript for “The Biggest Mistake Made on Internships”

Brian Clapp: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, internships are the most important part of everyone’s college education. The reasons are simple; you get real hands-on work experience doing the job you hope to make a career out of later on in life. You get experience on your resume, you get to network, you get to form your point of view – the benefits of internships are vast.

The problem is many people go about it the wrong way, myself included. Back when I was in school I remember one of my first internships I was so afraid and so timid, I thought everyone knew more than me and that I was going to be made a fool out of so I went in, I did what I was supposed to and ran back home into the safe confines of my dorm.

internships big mistakes students make

These Food Network interns gained incredible experience working with host Patrick Neely (center)

It was a pretty big mistake and a huge wasted opportunity.

Once I got into the workforce and I was hiring interns or had a lot of interns on staff, I noticed a much bigger problem. I noticed people showing up for their internships and thinking they already knew it all and they were ‘too cool’.

The reason this is a huge problem is because:

  • You don’t know it all
  • If you think you know everything there is to know already, you stop being curious and you stop asking questions. When you stop asking questions you stop learning and that is the point of all internships, to learn.

Learn what you don’t know or you can’t learn from sitting in a classroom being lectured at or reading a textbook.

There are so many experiences you get on an internship, so much valuable networking you get from it, but if the rest of the people that work there and are actually collecting paychecks think you are a know-it-all or that you don’t listen or aren’t focused they aren’t going to invest in you and now you’ve lost a networking opportunity. The person sitting there might have been able to put in a good word for you for a job, but if you act aloof or act like you know it all they aren’t going to be your advocate, which is a huge wasted opportunity!

So take internships seriously, go in with an open mind – you’re a blank slate and you are there to learn…so do that!

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About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the broadcast media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, you should.

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  1. […] importance of internships can’t be overstated, which explains why we have written so many articles on their value. But when is enough enough? And what should you do next if you’ve […]

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