Marc Scoleri CEO, Co-Founder, CreativeInterns.com
Difficult Internship Situations:
1.What do you do if you have been interning for three weeks at your summer internship, but it is not a match? Is there anything you can do that can improve the situation?
MS: Don’t be a complainer – offer solutions that will make it more of a match. After all, you did interview and accept the opportunity and nobody forced you to say yes!
Not all internship opportunities are created equal. If you find yourself in a position that is less than stellar or you feel like you are not learning enough, speak directly with your site supervisor and offer additional ways you can contribute. For example, if you are a graphic design intern and want more projects that allow you to build your portfolio, look for opportunities to create marketing materials and offer to do so.
Bring suggestions to the table on how to make your position increasingly valuable to the employer. Offer to help in areas that may not be listed as job duties but happen to be strengths for you. Quality internship programs should give interns an opportunity to evaluate the internship program so program improvements can be implemented based on the feedback. Employers should also evaluate an intern’s performance on a regular basis.
2. If you have an internship and you have a family emergency that will keep you from working there for a week how do you handle it without damaging the relationship?
MS: In this type of situation you will want to speak directly to your employer in person or on the phone. Explain that you have a family emergency and why you will be unavailable to fulfill your duties at the office for a week. Ask if there is any way for you to make up the hours and/or provide support virtually. Most likely, your employer will be empathetic to your situation and appreciate that you explained the situation immediately and offered to stay engaged virtually.
The important point here is to speak directly with your employer as soon as possible. Don’t just send a text or email without speaking to your employer and make sure to stay in contact during your absence via email so your employer knows how you are doing and when you will return. This will show your employer that you are reliable and mature enough to communicate with full transparency.
3. What do you do if you do not fit in with the culture of a prestigious company where you have an opportunity to become an intern? Do you just take the position so you can put it on your resume, or should you find something more suitable for your personality?
MS: Above all, be true to yourself.
Culture of a company is an important factor when considering any position. Give yourself enough time to research internship programs. This may require you to ask specific questions during the interview. Here are some questions to consider:
a. What are the benefits of the internship program?
b. What can I expect to learn as an intern at your company?
c. Who do the interns report to?
d. How long have you had an internship program?
e. What differentiates your program from other internship programs?
f. Have you every hired your interns for freelance or full-time opportunities?
In addition to culture, identify other important factors. Understand the benefits of completing a specific internship program. Of course listing a prestigious company on your resume could help get you noticed over other candidates but if you accept the position and you do not add value to the culture and perform poorly, no one really benefits.
Other factors to consider before accepting a position include: opportunity to build your resume or portfolio with industry experience, software or hardware skills, exposure to industry leaders that will build your professional network and opportunities to develop leadership skills or lead projects. Interning at a company does not necessarily guarantee that you will be offered a position when the internship is complete. So have an open mind and learn as much as you can. Most likely, there will be appealing and unappealing aspects at every company you interview but they may not be apparent until after you start the position. The important thing here is to have an open mind and do the best job you can so that people will want to recommend you for additional opportunities.
With over 15 years of experience in creative recruiting, career development and talent management, Marc offers immense knowledge and experience in the field of human resources.
Numerous companies including Apple, Marvel Entertainment, Grey Advertising, McGraw-Hill, and HBO have worked with Marc to recruit creative student interns; many of them have been recruited as entry-level employees.
Marc has led recruiting and talent management efforts for two of the largest global talent providers, Aerotek and Aquent. He was ranked 3rd in the nation during his time as a Professional Recruiter at Aerotek and later served as Regional Director for Vitamin T, a startup division of Aquent that specializes in creative recruiting and placement.