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What to do when you’re not learning anything new at your internship?

By Priyanka Jaisinghani Staff Writer

Internships are a vital process in your learning experience. This is the place where you take all that stuff you've learned in class and apply it to the "real world." Many of you will be entering a new internship or have been lucky enough to be asked to stay back a little bit longer. There comes a time after being asked several times to stay longer when you will want to re-evaluate your position at the organization and think things through — how can you make the best out of an internship if you’re not learning anything new?

Get a second internship: It is perfectly acceptable to have more than one internship during a semester. I personally have had two during multiple semesters. Get two as long as they both balance each other out and you can balance your classes and somewhat of a social life. The best type of a second internship to get is a virtual one or something that is not as demanding as the first one. At Hofstra, many students have virtual internships, blogging or writing articles with various news sites. The hot internships are now anything using social media. Most of us are experts using it, and getting a second internship in this field can only enhance your experience and enhance your resume by letting you write that you were published in "so and so."

Get to know as many people as you can:  Unfortunately, if you’re not learning much, chances are you are not applying yourself much and have ample amounts of free time. This is the time to get to know as many people as you can. Meet multiple professionals as you reach out to various departments and people to chat them up. This can only benefit you in the future! Enjoy this time being an intern, as your position will be less demanding now compared to how it will be in the future.

When you aren’t learning anything new: Internships are meant to be a learning process for you to apply your education in a "real world setting." You need to make mistakes, hone your skills and try to master the skills at your internship (with your responsibilities). Sometimes you need to assess in the middle of an internship if you have to move on. If you are in your senior year and are learning the bare minimum, maybe it’s time you assess whether you can leave and find something better to end college with a bang.

When deciding when to move on, you need to assess where you are career-wise. If you are a sophomore or junior who’s been with an organization for a year, you might want to reconsider. When they keep asking you to stay back without any hope of actually obtaining a job, it could be a better decision to use your skills and resources in a new internship in hopes of learning something new. You need to think — is it worth sticking around with no future and not learning anything? Get out, browse the market and see who else needs your awesome skills. It’s a matter about quality.

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