I started an internship as a technical researcher in computer science field a month ago and the things are obviously much different then what I was learning from books. But I was prepared for that, so its okay I guess. But one thing that I was not expecting is that the employees dont really have a very friendly attitude not only towards me but also among themselves. They dont talk. For example my supervisor sits infront of me and he sends me email whenever he wants to say even the un-important things. Is this usual behavior ? since its my first time working in any company and I am not aware much of working ethics.

Secondly, the situation is that in the beginning for few days my supervisor was not sure of which tasks should I be doing during my internship. Anyways he gave a presentation, defining my tasks and the manager changed and removed some of them by saying that it would be too difficult for an intern to have them done in 6 months. By the way, my supervisor is doing Phd from this company and is at the end of it.

This is my 5th week going on. My supervisor is on holidays since last week and will be back on this coming Monday. He gave me a task to be done until Monday and he said you can contact me if you find any difficulties. I did contact him but it did not solve the problem. Actually the problem is, there is one file missing and without that I can not make use of the tools, the way I want to use them. I have spent 2 days looking for it everywhere I could, but was not successful. Now he will be back on Monday expecting that I will be done with the task. I asked my manager and other colleagues and they said, contact your supervisor for technical details and problems. So, should I give him a pseudo-solution and tell him that because of that missing file I was not able to implement it ? OR should I use some other tools to give him the solution and explain him that because of that missing file I was not able to do it the way you wanted me to do ?

Actually the atmosphere is a bit weird under the roof of company and I see myself standing no where after 5 weeks of internship. Though after coming here I learned a lot new things but I dont feel it as a comfortable working environment and I dont want to waste my rest of internship period. Can some one tell me that, am I just being stupid to think like this way ? or things are like this in the begning ? what should I do ? any suggestions ? comments ?

closed as off-topic by gnat, Jim G., Dawny33, Lilienthal, IDrinkandIKnowThings May 12 '16 at 16:29

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  • "Real questions have answers. Rather than explaining why your situation is terrible, or why your boss/coworker makes you unhappy, explain what you want to do to make it better. For more information, click here." – gnat, Dawny33, Lilienthal, IDrinkandIKnowThings
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  • Regarding the communication - it depends on the company's culture. In my place of work people talk (there are about 20 guys in an open space office). The directors prefer that I just go and talk to them instead sending emails. If you prefer this type of cummunication, it might be easier to find it in small companies. – greenfingers Jun 5 '14 at 15:33
  • Some places really enforce the 'paper trail' for everything that goes on, so they like everything to be in email, even if it was just discussed in person. – jmorc Jun 5 '14 at 16:55
  • This is not common, I never worked at places like that even at huge finantial institutions that behavior is not the usual. – lambdapool May 10 '16 at 12:41

During my internship a lot of things were new too me. Of one of which were communication. We all communicate via skype/e-mail instead of talking in an open office space. This is because we have all different specialties and a conversation disturbs the workflow for others. So unless you need direct help, you skype/e-mail. This is something you should get used to if it's the standard in your company.

As for your other problem. Document when you tried to reach your supervisor and if you really cannot continue without the one specific file, try to work around it and ask for it when your supervisor is back. It shows you are willing. So do it the other way and tell him you can do it with the file if he pleases, but you worked around it for now, because of the missing file.

Noone's stupid for listening too his feelings. Things might be different everywhere. The key is to communicate well with your supervisor. Tell him what you're thinking and what you are doing. Get a day of the week where you and your supervisor can talk (even for just 10-15 minutes) to tell him what is on your mind.


First, you need to get used to the style of communications which is customary in your company. You may ask why email is preferred on your 1-on-1 meeting with your boss.

Also, try to determine your own http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator and read books about how to communicate with other (not your own) personality types. You may be surprised what you learn, i know I was.

There are many other ways to improve your inter-personal communications. Simplest one is to invite your colleagues for a lunch.

  • So, everybody sailed the same boat :) and nice link by the way !! – 0circle Jun 5 '14 at 15:08
  • MBTI is often considered pseucoscience... – forest Mar 7 at 10:20
  • Some people consider whole area of psychology a pseudoscience, because you cannot measure the response in human brains. But if you try to go for a MBTI workshop, get your type identified, and go through the exercises (I was lucky enough to have 2 days worth of group exercises), you will be amazed how much of the differences in communication is correctly predicted by the facilitator. – Peter M. Mar 11 at 20:35
  • That is called the barnum effect. – forest Aug 29 at 11:43

No way my friend, that behavior is not the usual! I worked at a lot of places at diferente countries and most of time people talk. In Belgium for exemple, people used to make fine jokes, Portugal too, people are good mood. So its not normal not talking.

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