Intern, Are You Following All the Rules?

Well…maybe you shouldn’t.

When it comes to finding an internship or taking advantage of opportunities in your young career… maybe you should consider breaking the rules.

You find the perfect internship, but the application deadline was yesterday. In the listing they actually say “applications received after the deadline won’t be considered.” Should you apply?

You’re having a great internship, and the time is approaching where you’re scheduled to leave…but nobody has really said you need to leave…and they keep giving you great projects…what do you do?

Your immediate supervisor Bob, who is kind of a dork and has a tendency to take credit for your work, has made a big deal that you are never supposed to talk to the big boss with going through Bob first. But you have a great idea and you’re in the elevator with the big boss…what do you do?

You apply. You stick with it. You talk to the big boss.

Is it risky? Yes. Is is possible you’ll get yelled at? Yes. But I think most things worth doing are often risky and taking a chance that you’ll get yelled at.

In fact, when you take that risk, there is an even better chance that you’ll make leaps and bounds in your career. The sort of progress that would take much longer if you stay completely in the rules.



About the Author: Eric Woodard is the author of “Your Last Day of School: 56 Ways You Can Be A Great Intern and Turn Your Internship Into a Job” and founder of, a site that teaches students to be great interns and successful during internships. Eric created and managed internship programs for the White House and U.S. Senate. He’s also consulted with a variety of national non-profit clients to create and manage successful internship programs. Over the years Eric received zillions of thank you notes from interns, and has kept every single one. Follow Eric on Twitter!



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