This week at the Chamber has been relatively slow for me. Since my supervisor has hired an assistant, I find that the number of tasks I am getting assigned has drastically shrunk. Every now and then I will get assigned the job of creating centerpieces for an event, stuffing goodie bags, etc. Unfortunately, when I am assigned these tasks, I feel as though I am not learning anything.
Since I have been at the Chamber I have noticed a few things concerning its infrastructure. First, the Chamber’s number of employees. Since I’ve been with the Chamber, they have hired 3 new people to work alongside their staff of 20+ members. Everyone at the Chamber has their own niche, and stays within their own focus area. Second, if a staff member needs help with an assignment they typically call on one of the many employees. The work environment in the Chamber is very organized, yet slow. There is never any chaos and they are never short staffed. Everyone has something to work on, and no one is ever overloaded with work. There is rarely a time when people must call on others for help with something.
Both of these things makes for a very well organized organization. However, these elements leave little wiggle room for the eager interns that want to get their feet wet. The few tasks that employees need assistance with are usually picked up or completed by a fellow employee, so that leaves the intern with the job of folding brochures and stuffing envelopes.
Interns run into this problem from time to time, but instead of feeling as though these tasks are a waste of time and performing less than your full potential, talk to you supervisor!When I begin to feel as though I am doing a lot of tasks that are not teaching me anything or when I feel I am not being challenged, I have a conversation with my supervisor. I realize that we are all bound to have a few slow days where an internship may not have something to work on. However, if I notice that I have been assigned the task of stuffing envelopes for a week straight, I make it a point to communicate how I’m feeling with my supervisor. Usually, after this conversation she assigns me a slightly more challenging task to complete.
This situation confirms just how important it is to communicate. I understand that things may not always go your way, however you should never have to settle for what you are given. If you feel as though you are not being challenged, speak to your supervisor about it. While doing this, you may even gain more respect from your supervisor. Communicating your desire to take on my complicated tasks shows that you are serious about your career and learning, you are a hard worker, and that you are a self-starter. All of which are traits that most employers look for in employees.