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The worse thing that interns -- and any other employees -- can do is to try and cover up the situation. For high achieving kids, admitting a significant mistake can be hard. We like their desire to be liked and their positive self esteem. But sometimes humility and confession go a long way. Which brings me to Stephen Harper and the Mike Duffy affair. Somehow in the political world, leaders and their staffs have come to believe that voters expect perfection. Any admission to the contrary is not tolerated. The result is the cover up.
Is there any real benefit to working for free, other than what the company you're working for gets? You bet there is! And if you ask around in today's entrepreneurial world, you'll find that working without financial compensation has helped many people move toward achieving their career and business goals.
Put three toes in the water. Why three? Do one thing and it works, and it could just be "luck." Do two things and it can still be an anomaly. Do three things and now you have a pattern. If you get three straight failures, remember Edison took 10,000 wrong tries to find the right filament, creating the incandescent bulb.