Take Control of Your Internship by Managing Up

One thing that can be a little tricky to deal with during your internship is the manager (aka direct boss) to whom you are assigned. It can be a little bit of a lottery.

Of course, the same thing is true with any job. But the difference is, with a staff position – both you and your boss have time to work out the wrinkles. The mutual benefit in making the effort to establish a good working relationship is clear. But, with an internship – where things are sometimes compressed, this isn’t always the case.

If you get assigned to somebody that isn’t managing you well, realize that you need to manage up.

Why aren’t they managing you well? Who knows. Maybe they have some personal stuff going on, maybe they’re just in a professional rut, maybe they’re just a jerk. They may have time to let things work themselves out, but during the typically compressed duration of an internship, you don’t. So, manage up.

Help your supervisor get organized so they can make good use of your time, so you can learn.

Think managing your manager shouldn’t be part of your internship? You should reconsider. You ought to consider the lesson of managing your manager a lesson unto itself because in the working world, its one of the most valuable professional skills you can have, especially when you’re just starting out in your career.



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 GreatIntern.com, 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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