Who Will You Work with as an Intern Abroad?
Whether you're a seasoned veteran with 25 years of experience under your belt or a fresh-faced rookie straight out of college, the workplace can be a war zone for anyone. Every office is a veritable grab bag of personalities, work types, and ethics. When interning abroad, (and anywhere, really) the key to making it out alive is knowing how to identify and deal with different personality types, whether it's your boss, your assistant, or the guy who waters the plants.
Here are the 10 different folks you'll encounter in every workplace, including the good, the bad, and the unbelievably annoying.
1. The Overly Ambitious Intern
She seemed great at first, but now she's popping over your shoulder like a whack-a-mole from hell. You need to find a way to balance your workload, maintain polite conversation, so as not to drum up a workplace rivalry, and keep her at bay for a couple hours so you can…you know…WORK.
2. Life-Changing Mentor
She’s managed to “have it all” and has the best tips for how to get there— the dream job, the balanced personal life, the mid-day yoga breaks, and the strongest smoothie game you’ve ever seen in the break room. She could be your manager or she could be in an entirely different department, either way, she’ll take you under her wing and before you know it your life and career trajectory will be changed forever.
3. The Gossip
She's got the ears of a bat and the mouth of a magpie, which means you're now privy to all the details of the boss's lovelife and your company's money woes. While being in on the gossip seems fun, beware. There’s little loyalty where the Gossip girl is, and you might just find yourself making headlines next, even as an intern!
4. The Slacker
He shows up a half hour late every day, sneaks out before 5 p.m., dumps all his work on his subordinates, and manages to keep the corner office. How? You have no idea, but it’s best not to do as he says OR how he does.
5. Your Instant Bestie
You complimented her business-casual outfit, locked eyes, and knew you’d found a kindred spirit interning abroad. Now you’re always sharing those “quick break” Buzzfeed quizzes and happy hour will never be the same without her.
6. The Chatty Kathy
You've got a mountain of work to do before tomorrow's deadline and the guy in the next cube won't stop talking about the Pats game, the beer he's brewing, and the funniest new tweets in his feed.
7. The Lifer
He's been working in the same office so long, he's still got Carter/Mondale posters hanging on his walls. He doesn't trust the new kids on the block—or the FaceTwitters—and he's so stuck in his ways it's killing your workflow efficiency.
8. The Micro-Manager
Like a mosquito buzzing in your ear, the Micro-Manager doesn’t trust you to get any task done and sends you constant messages asking for status reports five minutes after assigning a project. The breathing down your neck (whether literal or metaphorical) is uncomfortable. Good luck getting any work done!
9. The Ghost Manager
You definitely met him or her at intern orientation, right? Georgie probably exists. Or is it Julie? Either way, you got your internship packet, project list, tasks, and after a week of training you haven’t seen or heard from your manager. Sometimes you think you hear him or her in the halls, but it could just be the rustling of the ficus in the A/C.
10. The New and Improved YOU!
That’s right. It’ll be time to reintroduce yourself— TO YOURSELF. You’ve got a closet full of business casual and business professional clothes that makes Don Draper in Mad Men look like a clown. You’ve learned a lot about who you are, how you work, and what you want out of life. Your resume has never looked better with that extra shiny international-experience-polish on it. Now, go out, take all that great advice from your life-changing mentor, and conquer the world!
Internships Abroad You Should Check Out
If you need a few programs to get you started with the saving and comparing on MyGoAbroad, here are a few organizations and programs we recommend:
- Intern around the world with Global Experiences
- Get experience interning abroad in Latin America with Maximo Nivel
- Spruce up your resume with IES Internships
- Become a London business pro with CAPA
- Gain experience in your field while exploring Berlin with Corkscrew Startup Experienceships
[Need more? See all internship abroad programs!]
Resources for New Interns
Here’s a little extra-curricular reading to help you along the way:
- How to Make a Lasting Impression at Your International Internship
- Everything You Need to Know About Paid International Internships
- The 7 Best Internships for College Students
- 18 GOTTA HAVE IT Internship Opportunities Around the World
Make the Most of Interning Abroad
Doing an internship abroad is going to be worth dealing with every single frustrating or mildly annoying person. Especially considering you’re bound to encounter those in any job you work post interning abroad, anyway.
The truth is, you’ll encounter far more of the helpful, inspiring people while interning abroad than you will the duds listed here. You will get out of doing an internship abroad exactly what you put into it, so don’t let these haters get you down, get to work, give it your all, and snag that “Intern of the Century” award you’ve always dreamed of.