Moving On After a Disappointing Internship

The majority of the students who interned with Hyatt this summer really exceeded my expectations and I was quite pleased to read so much positive feedback on their evaluations.  Although it was great to see so many of them be declared “superstars”, there were a few who had less than successful internship experiences.

I’m sure they aren’t alone.  Often an internship is a student’s first glimpse into the “real world”.  The experience can be overwhelming and can sometimes bring to the forefront a student’s areas of opportunity.

Every Experience is Valuable

In this situation, it’s more than okay to be disappointed.  I don’t think anyone sets out to be less than stellar as an intern.  What’s essential is that you don’t just disregard the experience.  Recognize that you’re so much more ahead of the game now that you’ve had that experience, than if you had never had the internship experience at all.  Every minute you earned of practical exposure is so valuable, regardless of the outcome.

Find the Lesson

There have been times in my own career where I was challenged or achieved less than my best.  Although I didn’t want to recall, much less relive the situation, I had to take the time to find the lesson.  If you were provided a written evaluation, review it again, recall the feedback that was given to you and determine the items of value, the feedback that can be applied and used to foster further professional growth.

What’s key is that you focus on you and your performance.  It’s easy to pout and point the finger at someone else.  Perhaps you didn’t connect with your assigned team, or in your opinion, you didn’t receive the ideal amount of coaching from your manager, but focus on the factors that were within your control and what was solely your responsibility.

Move Forward

Yes, if you could, you would change a variety of different things, but you can’t and now your focus has to be on moving forward.  Now that you’ve had this experience, are you better?  Have you now identified that a certain industry, corporate culture, organization, or position is not the right fit for you?  Find the courage to shift directions, if necessary, or even better find the courage to try again.

Although you may be discouraged, recognize that you can rebound from this situation.  Last summer one of my interns received an evaluation that left some definite room for improvement.  He saw the value in the feedback provided and challenged himself to do better this summer.  I’m sure seeing the words “future industry superstar” on his internship evaluation this summer– it made him grateful that he took the chance and tried again.


Ronisha is one of Hyatt’s College Recruiting Managers.  Hyatt’s College Recruiters visit more than 30 college campuses each year recruiting top talent at hospitality programs across the country.  A graduate of The Ohio State University, Ronisha begin her Hyatt career as a Human Resources Corporate Management Trainee.  During her ten years with Hyatt, she has worked at Hyatt Hotels in Orlando, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey.  To learn more about opportunities with Hyatt please visit, follow Hyatt on twitter @hyattcareers, become a Hyatt Facebook fan at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts Careers and follow the Campus Recruiter blog at

Related posts:

  1. Wrapping Up Your Internship
  2. Making Time for Your Internship
  3. Pack Your Boxes – You’re Moving!

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