On the job training (OJT) or internship is one of the highlights of a student’s life. This experience will teach you valuable lessons that you can apply to your life and future career. If you haven’t experienced an OJT yet, you probably just draw expectations from movies or a friend’s story to imagine how the experience is like. But when you’re in an actual workplace, it could be a totally different story.
To ease your worries, we’ve compiled a list of these expectations vs. reality situations to show you a glimpse of what OJT is like for real!
Expectation: You will only be assigned to do menial tasks (e.g. taga-xerox, taga-timpla ng kape).
Reality: You could also get involved in major projects of the company.
Many students expect that an OJT merely involves doing minor tasks such as photocopying papers. But there are actually internships that allow and motivate interns to spearhead projects and create real impact in the company. There are also internships that hold business case competitions and give students the opportunity to pitch ideas to top managers. OJT also gives you the chance to get mentored by top business leaders and industry experts!
Expectation: Your internship supervisor will go easy on you because you’re just a student.
Reality: Your supervisor will expect you to handle yourself professionally.
Keep in mind that your OJT is your first taste of work life; you don’t get a free pass for being a student. So laziness and below-average output is unacceptable! Some internship supervisors will expect you to handle yourself like a professional; give every task your best effort. If you leave a good enough impression, the company may just decide to hire you after you graduate!
Expectation: You have to wear business attire every day.
Reality: Some companies allow you to wear casual clothes.
While there are companies that strictly implement dress codes, there are companies that don’t. You can simply wear your casual clothes, especially in laid-back companies and startups. One way or another, you can always mix and match your tops and bottoms. You can even create your work uniform to avoid decision fatigue on choosing what to wear!
Expectation: You have to be serious all the time.
Reality: You can actually have fun with your co-interns and supervisors during work hours (as long as you keep it profesh!).
You don’t have to be intimidated by your seniors at work. Bit by bit, learn how to mingle with them so you can be comfortable at work. The rapport will open up opportunities for you to ask valuable career advice from your seniors. Your co-interns and supervisors will love to know more about you, too!
Make the most out of your OJT experience, and be the best on-the-job trainee you can be. Have fun! Make mistakes and learn from the lessons you’ll encounter in your OJT!