Background Information: I am an undergraduate Computer Science student whom in June of 2018 began a year long internship at a large multi-nation corporation as a software developer.
Project1: When the internship was advertised they detailed the project that I would be working on for the duration of my contract (let's call this project1). When I started the internship I was content while working on project1, I worked as part of a team, the product requirements were clear, and the workload was challenging but still reasonable.
Fortunately for them or rather unfortunately for me project1 was completely finished within 3 months of my start date. I then found myself with literally nothing to do at work for several weeks. So I requested to my supervisor to see if there were any other software projects in different departments of the company that I could assist with. It is important to note that a big reason for me deciding to do this internship is so that I can learn and develop my skills, so sitting around doing nothing is a big problem for me as I feel I could be using my time more productively.
Project2: My supervisor luckily did find a department that was in need of a software developer to assist with a project (let's call this project2) for a long time now. Without going into too much detail, this department pays a licensing fee to a large well known third-party technology company for a software service. To give you a sense of scale of this service here is the price breakdown:
Initial payment = $140,000
Installation verification = $18,000
Yearly renewal payment for 6 user accounts = $46,000
The head of this department was and is still not happy with the software service that the third-party is providing. Hence, they have proposed that we develop an in-house 'light weight' version of the service using open source tools. This is where I come in.
At the time this sounded like a great opportunity for me to prove myself. I would get to be involved in the design and development of an actual in production piece of software from the ground up. However as I joined the new department I was informed that I would be the only developer working on project2 and that the project would be supervised by someone whom has had experience using the licensed software but has no software development experience. Despite this I still wanted to prove myself by working on this massive task, naive as I may have been.
There was definitely a shaky start to project2.A major part of project2 was in the planning and design stage, things like choosing which tools to use, specifying the product backlog, etc. This was particularly difficult for me since I had little to no experience designing projects of this scope and my supervisor could only give me vague product requirements for the backlog. Despite these set backs I persisted with with project2.
Skip ahead to the present day. I have made significant advances project2, I have a working prototype, many of the major features of the licensed software have been implemented into project2, and I have written extensive documentation on every aspect of project2. In my opinion this is great, and I am really proud of the work I have done so far. Hence, I decided to give a demo of project2 to my supervisor to show off all of these new features. Unfortunately the vibe I got from them was that of they didn't really care. At this point that I realized that project2's supervisor and the department manager never expected this project to be completed, it was just a side project to keep the intern busy.
This was somewhat crushing to me, as I had really applied myself and begun to succeed with a task that most would call over ambitious or even impossible. This lack of interest or involvement from the people who have set the task of project2 has really sapped my motivation to continue it. In my mind there is no reason to continue, I am under compensated for this level of work I have put in (due to being an intern I earn less than minimum wage for my country), and if the person whom I am writing the software for doesn't care why should I?
Finally, my question: How should I handle this situation at work? Should I confront project2's manager and the department manager regarding their lack of interest? Should I contact my original supervisor for project1 and explain the situation that I am being over worked for my position? Or should keep my head down and slowly work on project2 until June 2019 when my internship contract ends and I can gracefully leave the company?
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Any and all advice will be appreciated on this matter.