I am currently in an internship part-time, and I want to be more useful in the workplace.

There are only two person team that I am working with (my supervisor and her assistant).

In previous internships, my site supervisors usually had a specific task list that they wanted me to perform (i.e., filing and forwarding mail, assisting clients with inquiries, attending meetings and produce memos, reviewing documents, etc.) on a daily basis and for major projects. Additionally, I was expected to shadow my supervisors during specific meetings between staff, the community, and other personnel.

However, at my new internship site, there is little to no direction on what tasks they want me to complete or performance goals they want me to reach.

I have asked questions and made suggestions like:

"Is there an area or project that is a priority?"
"I've completed this task, would you like me to start on something else?"
"I noticed that "X,Y,Z" is incomplete, I could assist with that."
"I would be interested to learn more about "X,Y,Z is there an area I could help with?"

I do not want to offend my site supervisor or have the impression that I am questioning her authority but are there ways that I can ask/bring up the need for more detailed duties during my internship?

1 Answer 1


It sounds as though you've asked the right questions here and is seems as though these other two people simply don't know what to do with you.

An alternative here is to simply tell them what you'll be doing and start doing it, then let them tell you to stop if that's not the right thing for them.

This assumes of course that you can identify a task that needs doing that you're capable of performing.

  • +1 - unfortunately some companies agree to take interns and then expect them just to magically know what to do / get on with things as though they've been working there years already. Sounds like this is possibly one of those companies.
    – berry120
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 8:01

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