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The Intern at Work
Q: What is the job description for an intern?

A: An internship job description depends on the job. To your dismay, you may very well be used for mundane tasks, like filing or answering phones. But in general your role as an intern is to step into a position and fulfill the responsibilities as a professional would.

A job description is important to have at the beginning of your internship because it gives you the "big picture" of what is expected of you during your relatively short time with the organization. Your supervisor may give you a written or verbal job description on your first day. But chances are there will be no job description for the intern. This is a good thing! Once you find an internship, set aside time to sit down with your supervisor and create a job description.

Aside from giving you the "big picture," creating your own job description will accomplish two things. One, it will allow you to create a challenging internship by sharing with your supervisor the strengths you would like to employ and the weaknesses you would like to strengthen. Two, it will show that you are pursuing this internship to grow and leave a lasting impression.

Interns often come and go without leaving much of an impression. You want to be missed! When references are needed, who better than your supervisor, who declares she misses your upbeat attitude, attention to detail and ability to meet demanding deadlines? Make the most out of your internship and your efforts will be rewarded!

Of course, it is possible your supervisor has a job description readily prepared. If this is the case, take time to discuss the expectations and to ask questions. Make it clear you are open to new challenges and are here to make a positive difference in the organization.

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