Common internship mistakes to run away from

Stepping into the working world for the first time like Rachael from ‘Run Rachael Run’? Here are the don’ts to avoid

Common internship mistakes to run away from
Common internship mistakes to run away from
08 Apr 2016

Common internship mistakes to run away from

“You cannot anyhow walk around here like you don’t know what the hell you are doing – at Cream Makers Inc, you run!”

This is how Rachael Chow, the titular character in Run Rachael Run (played by Hor Ying Ying), is pretty much inducted into her internship at a production house, as seen in the first episode of the Toggle Originals series.

While most real-life bosses probably won’t say the exact same sentence to their new interns on their first day, such a thing is an unspoken expectation of sorts for students getting their first taste of working life. But with so many things to do and just as many things to not do, we understand that it can get pretty overwhelming at times.

Currently undergoing an internship or about to embark on one? Read on to see what no-no’s you should avoid, and catch two brand new episodes of Run Rachael Run here.

Not dressing appropriately for the industry
Not dressing appropriately for the industry
08 Apr 2016

Not dressing appropriately for the industry

In the very first episode of Run Rachael Run, we see Rachael get chastised by Joshua for her outfit – which includes a blazer and high heels – before she has even begun her internship. “Why you dress like that, you think you working in finance ah!?” he barks at her.

Granted, her mistake was the result of thinking she was going to work at a more prestigious company, but it proves our point: keeping to dress codes is important. Meeting clients? Prim, proper and professional is the way to go. Running around the place running errands? Ditch your favourite platforms for sneakers. Some companies shun those who look like they try too hard in the style department, while others require that you actually make a sartorial effort (such as Rachael’s “frienemy” in episode five), so make sure you know which category your workplace belongs to before making decision in front of your closet.

Being late for everything
Being late for everything
08 Apr 2016

Being late for everything

This should go without saying, but nothing screams “I don’t respect you or this job” more than constantly showing up late, especially for important meetings and assignments. Set your alarm (or three if you need to), key in reminders with alerts on your phone, pay your siblings to chase you out of the house on time – do whatever it takes to ensure that you clock in at the hour and minute you’re supposed to.

Thinking you’re too good for small tasks
Thinking you’re too good for small tasks
08 Apr 2016

Thinking you’re too good for small tasks

The common stereotype is that interns are often responsible for fetching coffee for the rest of the team, but in reality, there are a lot more meagre chores than ensuring your colleagues are properly caffeinated. While they probably won’t be as strange as labelling boxes of food in the pantry (like we see Rachael do in episode 4), there’s a high chance you might be stuck with other mundane things such as picking up the mail, filing papers or photocopying stacks upon stacks of documents.

We know it’s boring as heck (most of us have been there), but it’s entirely the wrong attitude to think some jobs as beneath you (even worse if you let your disdain show on your face). Prove your worth by showing that you can be trusted with the small stuff, and soon the bigger, more “important” tasks will be handed over to you.

Thinking big tasks are none of your business
Thinking big tasks are none of your business
08 Apr 2016

Thinking big tasks are none of your business

On the flip side, just because you feel you’re at the very bottom of the corporate food chain as an intern, doesn’t mean you should have a mind-set of not bothering with major tasks or decisions just because they seem too out of your league.

Towards the end of Run Rachael Run, we see Rachael not just stepping up and claiming responsibility for one of her mistakes, but also taking the initiative to solve it as best as she can instead of staying in the shadows and relying on her seniors to think of a solution (Toggle Prime subscribers can view the episode in advance here). Imagine being in your supervisor’s shoes and seeing behaviour like that from any of your staff, let alone the intern: wouldn’t that just leave an extremely positive impression on you?

Not daring to speak out confidently
Not daring to speak out confidently
08 Apr 2016

Not daring to speak out confidently

In episode two of Run Rachael Run, there is a pivotal moment when Rachael, in the middle of a meeting to brainstorm the concept for Sunny Bee’s music video, boldly interjects the “adult” conversation – much to the horror of her bosses – to ask Sunny, “What about you? What does the song mean to you?” While it appears that Sunny is about to give her a piece of his mind (“Eh, who are you ah?”), it turns out that he’s actually impressed, and says that she has respect.

While we are certainly not suggesting you keep piping up with opinions during meetings as if you know everything, offering your two cents and asking the right questions in a well thought-out and polite way will leave a good impression on those around you. Plus, it could actually help to steer discussions in the right direction, just like what happened with Rachael and Sunny Bee.

Slacking off (and worse, not bothering to hide it)
Slacking off (and worse, not bothering to hide it)
08 Apr 2016

Slacking off (and worse, not bothering to hide it)

So you finally wrapped up your tasks for the day and have some much welcome free time. What do you do? Well, “scroll through Instagram or Facebook” or “check out the latest music videos on YouTube” are not the correct answers, for a start. If you find yourself stuck without anything on hand, take this opportunity to learn more about your company and its product, so that you will be much better prepared for the next duty that comes your way.

And besides, there’s hardly anything more nightmarish or awkward than one of your seniors passing by your desk, only to see you sneaking in a few minutes of the latest episode of Descendants of the Sun.

Being stuck in a social bubble
Being stuck in a social bubble
08 Apr 2016

Being stuck in a social bubble

While it is totally understandable how it may seem scary and strange to socialise with colleagues who are far older than you, it is also important to step out of your comfort zone and not limit your friendly interactions to a small circle of fellow interns. It may feel a tad weird hanging out with them at first but you will soon find that there is plenty you can learn from them, their stories and their wealth of experience, even if it’s just during that one hour at lunch every day.

“They make me discover people, they make me discover friends,” Rachael says with a smile when asked what it’s like at her internship. Now, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to say that as well?

Burning bridges when the internship ends
Burning bridges when the internship ends
08 Apr 2016

Burning bridges when the internship ends

Your internship may have ended, but your career is only getting started. Especially in cities like Singapore, where the industry is small and everyone is likely to know everyone, the last thing you want to do is bid your boss and colleagues goodbye on a sour note. After all, you will be on the hunt for a full-fledged job before you know it, and having potential employers hear any bad news about you won’t do your chances of getting hired any favours.

In Run Rachael Run’s final episode (which you can watch now if you are a Toggle Prime subscriber), we see her receive the all-important testimonial letter from the secretary. We won’t spoil you as to how she fared, but when you get your report from your company, you will want it to say positive things that give your future bosses-to-be faith that they are engaging the right person for the job. It will also help to keep in touch with your internship company because connections are vital, and who knows, they might even reach out to you to come back for a full-time gig.

Up next on Run Rachael Run…
Up next on Run Rachael Run…
08 Apr 2016

Up next on Run Rachael Run…

Rachael is tasked with finding Korean dancers for Sunny Bee’s music video, but has to do so without going to an agency in order to avoid the expensive fees. However, what she gets wasn’t exactly what everybody had in mind…

To make matters worse, the actress playing Chang’e begins to make demands, making the already stressful and chaotic music video production even more difficult. What will Rachael do?

Catch two brand new episodes of Run Rachael Run for free next Monday (April 18)!

 

Find out more about Run Rachael Run here.
Catch two new episodes of Run Rachael Run for free every Monday here or binge-watch the entire series with Toggle-It-First.
You can also follow Rachael on Instagram and Twitter for more interesting insights into her internship and life.

Related:
The “first times” of the stars in Run Rachael Run
Valuable life lessons from our favourite onscreen interns
Bumper crop of Toggle Originals for 2016

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