Welcome to the working world and congratulations on having the drive to get your foot in the door to start your career. Beginning an internship can be a daunting task, but with these tips, you’ll be on your way to that full-time position you’re hoping to obtain.
Spread your ideas. Although you are an intern, people are looking for you to speak up with any ideas that you have. Your ideas may not only impress the people you work with, but might also grant you the opportunity to get involved in the projects you suggest. Having an intern that knows less about a particular industry isn’t always a negative. Instead, your inexperience is a way to get a new perspective on the industry and the operations of a company.
Prepare yourself for mundane tasks. Yes, your employer knows that you are a student. No, not all tasks require a college degree, even if you are in pursuit of one or just earned one. At any internship, you will be asked to do clerical work, whether it’s taking notes, entering data or filing paperwork. Nevertheless, perform the tasks to the best of your ability and show your boss that you take every job seriously. After all, these tasks truly are important to the company, and someone does have to do them.
Be on time for everything. Whether it’s your first day or your last, be on time showing up to work and to every meeting you attend. You might not be noticed for the fact that you show up on time, but I guarantee you are noticed when you continually show up late. This isn’t college. You aren’t rolling out of bed for your first class at 11 o’clock, deciding if you want to show up and then getting to your lecture 20 minutes late. Your internship is the real world so make a good impression and show that you’re reliable when it comes to times and deadlines.
Quality over quantity. Doing your best work is worth more than doing more work. Don’t end up competing with other interns over who can get the most done, because the fallout will be a disaster. Your boss will not be content having to straighten up your work just because you refuse to take your time and do quality work.
Socialize and pick your peers brains. If you want to earn a full-time position after your internship, it is crucial to network and be an obvious part of the team. Getting to know someone at your organization can be as easy as asking to get lunch. You may find out that this is also a way to find a mentor. People will be happy to recount their experiences and the route they took to get where they are, so pay attention because this is some of the most useful information you’ll get as an intern.
Enjoy yourself. As an intern, others will be aware of your inexperience and your drive to learn. As much as they want to help you advance, they also don’t want to put pressure on you and thus, expectations will often be lenient. The drive for interns is internal, so as much as you stress yourself to perform adequately, enjoy the time you have in the 10 or so weeks at your internship.
Being an intern is a new experience, and it is only natural to be timid, but prepare yourself for the new experiences that are soon to come your way- they will be with you forever. Benefit from your time as an intern and be a useful resource to the company, but most of all, enjoy your internship!
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