Summer slow-down lets interns shine -- or fizzle

As the summer wears on and August approaches, interns might find the energy level at their work sites waning. The full-time employees might be distracted by pending vacations that still need last-minute planning, erratic child-care schedules, and a slowing-down of the general workload, depending on your industry.

But this doesn't mean it's time for the trusty intern to slow down. In fact, now is the time to stand out – show what you can do while others are slacking. It's one thing to look good when things are busy, but it's particularly impressive to look good when things aren't.

Unfortunately, I've heard of a few instances lately that haven't reflected well on some summer interns. On one of my favorite web sites, PostSecret.com, where people can post their secret thoughts anonymously, the first secret listed this week reads: "Sometimes I hope that the economy stalls a little bit longer so the idiot intern won't get hired!'' A few days earlier, a friend told me that someone had posted a Facebook message complaining about her interns being stupid and screwing up deadlines – showing that social networking sites can have an impact one one's career in more ways than one.