I work in the IT department of a large company.
My department does consultancy for other IT companies, and my internship is focused on software testing, quality assurance and assisting my coworkers and my manager on whatever technical issues may happen. In the end, I do some kind of tech support and infrastructure support, and help my manager to deal with things on a day-to-day basis.
I am learning a lot in my internship. I make some mistakes (my first topic here is an example), but in the end, everyone likes my performance and I get along with most of my colleagues. Everyone expects, including my manager, that I will get a full-time job there in the end.
However, in the end I figured out that I hate it there. My manager has an "embrace the world" vision and isn't available when me or the other co-workers need him, and brings in projects that he doesn't even know the team can handle. He has some ideas from nowhere that sometimes go against the vision of other coworkers and in the end I have to deal with the heat. My department has a lot of issues that most of my colleagues complain about, but in the end they just decide to ignore them and move on. While we sell process improvement, we work in anarchy. My coworkers solve issues in any way they see fit, leaving a trail of mess in the process for the next one to figure out and my manager endorses it under the lines of "just make it work, no matter how".
A few months ago, I started to send some emails pointing out some of the things that I thought would help in the end. I expected a big no, because I'm an intern, and interns don't know nothing, but I got something that looked like "great idea, but not the focus right now".
This internship has brought me a lot of knowledge. But I don't like it anymore. Everytime I look at our infrastructure, I see a mess, and my first instinct is to set it on fire and make some sense out of it. And other people think the same, but few try to do something to improve it.
But in the end, I'm an intern. I don't have any experience in the industry. My manager values my opinions (sometimes even follows it), but why should I fix things that people more experienced than me already think are fixed?
Should an intern demand quality from his workplace? Should an intern have an active voice and try to improve things? Or just enjoy the ride, learn and see where it goes?