Maintaining Enthusiasm in an Internship: Don’t Get Discouraged, Get Motivated

Internships are like snowflakes; no two are exactly the same. This can also be said for the lessons learned and knowledge taken away from the real-world experience.

Attacking any task with enthusiasm is the key to staying motivated in an internship, says Purisky.

Some students discover precisely how they aspire to spend their future, while others realize they may want to delve into something different. The invaluable lesson I learned from my internship this summer was not to get discouraged when a project proved to be arduous, but rather, to accomplish the project with the same amount of enthusiasm as any.

Inevitably, every intern is going to face challenging situations in which they will struggle or make a mistake. The initial reaction is to recoil in embarrassment and dread walking into the office the next day. Instead, I learned that facing the difficulty and using it as motivation to better my public relations skills was the most effective way to handle these situations.

Being discouraged when faced with an onerous assignment is no way to show your superiors — and potential future employers — that you are a valuable team member. Rather than doubting your own capabilities, you can demonstrate a higher level of professionalism by using the endeavor to mold yourself into a better fit for the demands of the position.

Early in my internship this summer, there were a few instances when I was intimidated by a project. Through the utilization and development of my problem solving techniques, I grew as a public relations professional in a way that task completion alone doesn’t allow. Soon after, the tough tasks became less laborious as I used the critical thinking skills I’d improved to handle any issues before they could become problematic.

Using formidable projects as motivation to better my professional skill set is not a lesson I will soon forget. Accomplishing these ventures made me fully prepared to enter the full-time workforce.

There will be challenging projects in any career but this is how we become masters of our trade. Getting motivated rather than discouraged is an effective way to complete the tasks while furthering your professional potential.

How do you personally overcome professional obstacles?

Lauren Purisky is a senior public relations major, communication arts and sciences minor at Pennsylvania State University. She is a member of the Event Planning and Communication Committees in the Penn State Chapter of PRSSA. Connect with Lauren on LinkedIn here.

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