What to do in case of personal or professional concerns whilst on Internship

Self-help guide
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Your internships are a critical part of the curriculum in both the bachelor’s and the master’s programs at Glion. Starting that all-important internship is not always an easy step. However hard we try to prepare you here on campus before your departure to what, for many, will be one of your first real professional experiences, the transition is not always an easy one. You may be very excited to start your dream internship, but the reality can sometimes be very different to what you had expected.
It can be quite daunting to find yourself alone in a country or city you do not know; in addition, you will have to transform your behaviour overnight from student to young professional in the workplace. A very different type of attitude and set of behaviours will be expected of you to what you are used to. You are likely to be happy and excited, but you may also be scared, homesick, lonely, feel intimidated, question your abilities… and many more different feelings. This is perfectly normal, and in most cases, you will very quickly adapt to your new environment.

    Potential difficulties    


Every internship experience is very personal and every student reacts differently to his or her circumstances. Some employers and teams are incredibly welcoming, others less so. Below are a number of different problematic scenarios in which you may find yourself:
You feel that your teammates are jealous of you because you come from a school such as Glion/speak several languages/display personal belongings with prestigious brand names. Due to this jealousy, they may mock you, try to make you feel bad, try to humiliate you.
You may additionally feel mobbed or bullied by your manager; you become the scapegoat for anything that goes wrong; you are teased or left out of conversations, meetings, or even social activities.
You display too much self-assurance/knowledge/adopt an attitude of arrogance (which may in some cases be a way to disguise your shyness or lack of confidence).

    Attitudes to adopt    


You will very quickly and intuitively come to learn exactly who your teammates are and what personal details of your life you should and should not share with them. Don’t forget that many of them will be doing as a full-time occupation what you are only doing for 24 weeks as a stepping stone to a more exciting career. They are probably not earning very much, while also have obligations and responsibilities in their lives that you do not have. Try to understand that it is normal (but not necessarily acceptable) to feel envious of a young trainee just passing through on their way to better things. With this in mind, try to read people carefully, and not antagonize them with any unnecessary arrogance about who you are or where you come from:
Keep your personal items (clothes, accessories, jewelry etc.) to a minimum in the workplace – or leave them at home altogether, to avoid drawing attention to your social status, or that of your parents.
Do not “show off” or brag about your background, your social life, your holidays, your school, your travels, your possessions, your lifestyle…
Avoid conversations about finances.
Try to be diplomatic when you explain how you have learned to do things: at Glion we teach you to do tasks in a certain way, and you may find that on your internship you see people doing quite the opposite, or at the very least, differently. Try to adapt and “go with the flow”, rather than saying “But you are doing it wrong, at Glion we are taught to……!” This is the best way to upset your new colleagues…!
Particularly in the early stages, try to listen more than you speak; learn from others and from situations; it is imperative to understand the people you will be working in, the team atmosphere and environment.
If you are asked personal questions and prefer not to answer, try to change the subject rather than getting into an argument. Be the one to apologise or back down. It takes greater strength of character to avoid an argument than it does to answer back, which will only create animosity and provoke aggressive reactions in your colleagues.
Don’t challenge people; try to keep a low profile, remain discreet and retain humility at all times…
Don’t belittle others by telling them what a bright future you have. Be sensitive. . Having a blasé or arrogant attitude during your internship could cause you to not only have a bad experience… but also to fail your internship semester.
Respect basic rules at all times, such as arriving at work on time, calling in early if you are sick or have a problem: neglecting such basic professional etiquette or showing that you think the rules don’t apply to you is virtually guaranteed to have a negative effect on your relationships with your peers and your manager.
Sometimes even when you think you are doing everything right, things can go wrong – for many reasons. It may be simply a clash of personalities. Try not to take things personally if this happens, nor to take revenge or give people the same treatment they are giving you. If you feel you are being treated unfairly, you should never be afraid to talk to your line manager or HR manager about it – and the sooner the better, providing concrete examples to demonstrate your grievances. Your managers will help you to see things with perspective and balance and will assist you by making changes if necessary. They know their teams and the weak spots of your colleagues – and it is their role to assist you.
Understand and accept that you will do things wrong, you do not know everything. Learn to own up when you have made a mistake, and to accept constructive criticism with grace. Always try to put into practice in your daily tasks any suggestions for improvement your manager provides you with.
This is the crux of mature and professional behaviour.
Keep an open mind, practice tolerance, focus on developing emotional intelligence; be kind.
Be compassionate and understanding but never patronising

    Tips & Techniques    

Sometimes, you may embark on your internship knowing that you already have concerns in your personal life, which you have managed to push aside within the relatively safe community haven of our Glion campuses. When you move to an external environment, the safety net of friends, faculty, and the student support services teams is no longer omnipresent. In such a context, any issues you are experiencing and which you have managed to keep under control, buried, may come to the surface or may become polarized, compounded by the multiple stresses that the internship brings with it. As soon as you feel panic or fear it will be time to act.
As in many situations in life, communication is key. It always helps to talk to somebody about situations that are not productive or that are giving you cause for concern. In the first instance, a trusted friend, a colleague, a line manager, or your HR manager should be considered as a person to turn to. Very rapidly you should address the Career & Internship Department at Glion for personal advice and guidance. The team has a vast experience in dealing with young students on internship, is compassionate, understanding and, as an independent and neutral third party, will provide sound advice according to your circumstances, without judgment. The on-campus team can also act as a mediator or go-between with your employer should this be necessary. We may also put you in touch with our health advisor, depending on the issue and the outcome of our initial discussion. Sometimes, it is best not to involve parents at this stage (although this is a very personal decision) as this may cause them undue worry and upset. However, there is no hard and fast rule to this, it is a question you and you alone will need to determine.

    Contact us    

For any issue at all, please do not hesitate to contact the Career & Internship Department in the first instance:


The Welfare team:



The Learning Support team: