Suggested Grade Level
Approximate Time Needed
Appropriate Responses to Information Overload
Have you ever felt frustrated because you were given more information than they could possibly remember? This is called “information overload” and it can happen on the first day or first week of a new job, starting at a new school, or beginning a new class.
Mastering all the new information in the first day or even the first week is an unrealistic expectation. Look at the handout, Information Overload and fill in the chart.
A. What behaviors or feelings can result if an intern receives too much information too fast?
B. What are appropriate responses to receiving too much information?
A. What behaviors or feelings can result if a new intern does not receive enough information to do the job properly?
B. What are appropriate responses to receiving too little information?
Provide students with a personal example of when you felt overwhelmed by receiving too much information. Discuss what feelings came up for you, and how you responded. Facilitate a class discussion based on the Information Overload handout. Offer the following suggestions if they are not mentioned:
Too Much Information:
Behaviors/Feelings: Intern might stop listening or start interrupting inappropriately
Appropriate Responses: Intern could take notes; ask the supervisor to slow down; or ask for clarification
Too Little Information:
Behaviors/Feelings: Intern might feel confused, helpless, or fearful
Appropriate Responses: Intern could explain how they are feeling and why; ask a supervisor for additional information; or ask a co-worker for more information.
Pose this final question for a group brainstorm:
- What can you do during the first week of your internship to remember and organize the “glut” of information you’ll get?
- keep notes
- restate information when it is given
- memorize names by creative associations (Rachel has red hair, Devon has dimples)
- observe which co-workers seem most welcoming and willing to answer questions
Completion of Information Overload handout
This activity introduces students to internships and how they differ from jobs and allows them to begin the internship process.
This activity gives students an opportunity to reflect on their internship experiences and the key takeaways from related lessons, such as what skills, techniques, and concepts can be applied to college and future work.