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It's a mandatory part of my degree (electrical engineering) to take part in several internships and so I joined a company (big corporation) that offered an internship directly at my school.

However, the team I am with right now basically consider me as an excel monkey more than anything else. This is pretty frustrating considering all my school friends are part of great projects directly related to the field with their respective company.

Is there anything I can do to make this internship feel less like a huge waste of time and experience?

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    Don't discount excel monkey as good experience! Most jobs now-a-days (at least that I've had) you can get ahead by being an excel wiz for sure. (boski's answer is very valid though) – Bee Oct 21 at 15:43
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    There is a running joke among engineers that claims : "If you are using more than excel and the four basic math operations, you are not on the money making track". Your case might as well be a blessing in disguise. – Mefitico Oct 21 at 15:55
  • @Mefitico your comment is odly motivating. Thanks – MisterBic Oct 21 at 18:41
  • I had the same problem as an electrical engineering intern. I work for a known tech company and I mentor electrical and computer engineering students. Turns out that it's really difficult to get them involved with projects that we're working on because they require a good amount of knowledge in the industry. Basically we have our interns work on things we want to do but don't have time things like lab preparations and coding. The interns I've worked with, so far, haven't really shared interest in what we're doing. It could be lack of confidence or they don't want to get involved (being lazy). – KingDuken Oct 21 at 20:13
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It really depends on your specific situation. Some of the things you could do include:

a) Try to get more involved in the work you are interested in. That means talking with coworkers on what they are doing and maybe coming up with ideas, improvements, etc. that you come up with.

b) Talk with your direct manager. This should probably be your first course of action. Let them know how you feel you could be doing higher added value work for the company. This can be combined with a), where you could propose them some ideas.

c) Work on something else on your own. If none of a) and b) work, at least try to see how the company works, learn some of the processes on your own, carry out a small project related to them in your spare time ...

d) Look for a new internship. This is probably the most extreme and I don't feel like you would want to do this. If you have barely started and this is a long internship, maybe you should look somewhere else where you can better use your skills. Do please first speak with management about how you feel about your job beforehand.

I would still suggest you remain positive, though. I can't tell for how long this has been going on but if you have barely started it is normal that you are not given rather important work, as you still need to get to better know the company and the work life. Wish you the best!

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