By this point in my internship, I have run into several obstacles, although most have been small and easy to handle. One larger obstacle was the challenge of working with colleagues who just started a few months before I started my internship. Because of this, there was one time that a colleague felt overwhelmed and tried to get me to help with projects above my level of skill as an intern. This situation was difficult for me because I knew how much stress my colleague was under to finish the project. On the other hand, I had other projects that I was expected to finish in a timely manner.
I think overall, I handled the situation well, but I definitely could have been more direct. My colleague tried to get me to work on the project several times by emailing me various documents pertaining to the project. At first I replied with comments like “As an intern, I don’t think I’m the right person to be working on this project, sorry” and “I do not think I will have enough time to work on this project, since I was hired to complete a research project that takes up most of my time.” These emails were ignored, and finally I wrote an email (with my supervisor’s encouragement) explaining that I would not be working on the project. Eventually my colleague understood. I think being more direct earlier would have been better in this case, since my colleague did not understand what I was trying to communicate at first.