As an intern, your goal is to work hard and learn as much as you can. To many, this means doing as close to “perfect” a job as possible. But the reality is that you’re bound to make a mistake.
The good news? Managers understand that you’re green and there will be a learning curve. You’re not expected to show up day one with all the answers.
But what should you do when you make a mistake? Should you lie, blame it on someone else, try to cover it up, or pretend it never happened and hope no one finds out? Or, should you ask for help, acknowledging that you’re still learning but would like to make amends?
- Your manager will be pleased that you had the wherewithal to admit to the mistake, which will help to build trust.
- You learn how to avoid repeating the mistake (or how to fix the mistake yourself, should it ever happen again).
The point of an internship is to learn about a career, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Making mistakes, and taking the steps to ensure that you don’t repeat errors, is part of the internship process. Without a few mistakes you probably haven’t maximized the learning experience. Mistakes are all part of the process – just make sure you learn from them and don’t make the same mistake twice!
So what are you waiting for? Get out there. Work your hardest and smartest. But don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
TechGen Guest Blog Post
By Jodi Goldstein
Managing Director, Harvard Innovation Lab