What to Do During Your Internship If You Don’t Have Work to Do

By Khadejah Stegall

Khadejah is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.

Some interns are running errands, multitasking and struggling to squeeze in a lunch break. Some interns are busy doing dirty work, while some interns can end up doing absolutely nothing. This usually happens at the beginning of your internship. Many people have not earned their trust with you so in order to assign you tasks, you need to form relationships and build rapport. Here are some things to do around the office if your manager doesn’t have anything for you to do to show that you are still proactive.

Check In With Your Supervisor

If you don’t have anything assigned to you, check in with your supervisor just to make sure he or she hasn’t forgotten about you. Don’t take it personal because your supervisor is probably really busy. If your supervisor never has anything for you to do, suggest ideas and assignments you could work on or help out with.

Volunteer To Attend Meetings

Ask for your supervisor’s calendar to see what meetings they will be in for the week. You can ask to be a part of the meetings and take notes for your supervisor. If you attend meetings, be sure to engage in them when necessary. Don’t speak just to say you said something.

Go Around The Office and Ask For Work

If your supervisor doesn’t need anything, other employees may. Make your rounds around the office and ask if you can do anything for anyone. This a great way to start conversations with other people and ask how their day is going. The more you come around, the more they will get to know you and remember your face.

Check Industry News And Research Competitors 

Research the competitors of the company and check to see what’s trending in the industry you work in. If your company has weekly meetings, it would be cool for you to be the key person to update everyone on what’s going on in the industry during that week. They rely on young people to keep them up to date about trending topics. Take pride in being a millennial!

Ask To Shadow Other Professionals

One of the best ways to build rapport with other employees is to ask to shadow others to see what they do and become more familiar with their job role. If you are shadowing someone, ask good questions and pick their brain.

Schedule Informational Interviews

While you are waiting to do work, schedule informational interviews with executives. It’s good to do this early on in your internship because their schedule is usually booked.

Read the Office And Wait To Ask

It’s okay to not always be super busy and in people’s face asking for work. Read the office carefully. If it’s early in the morning and people are still getting themselves together, wait to ask for work.

Don’t make the mistake and wait for work to be given. Take initiative and create your own opportunity if you don’t have work to do.


Khadejah Stegall is a college mommy blogger that inspires others to achieve the impossible through the power of Jesus. She enjoys family time, eating vegan meals when it's convenient and mentoring others on professional development. To be inspired by more post, follow her blog at khadejahstegall.com.