You survived your summer internship and landed the fall internship of your dreams. Now what? First off, give yourself a huge pat on the back. With so many talented young people out there, the internship pool is getting more competitive by the millisecond! If you prove yourself, your internship could end up in a full time offer. It’s time to prepare yourself to enter the real world. Sounds scary, but I promise it’s a cake walk, well more like donut walk since it’s a guarantee Dunkin Donuts will now be a highly used buzzword around your office.
From the day to to essentials to navigating the lunchroom of life, here are my top five tips for thriving at your fall internship.
1. Find your Focus:
You will be sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day. Even if you end up loving what you do (which you will!), there is no way to get around the number of hours you will be clocking on your bum. Because of this, it is important that you pack the right things every day to help you find that focus sweet spot. While writing blog posts and building massive contact sheets, finding ways to focus for prolonged periods of time was crucial. I turned to listening to Chet Faker on Soundcloud, and chewed my way through a massive container of gum in a matter of days!
2. Don’t skip the sip:
This essential is no joke. If you skip staying hydrated, you WILL end up with a headache by 3 p.m. With two hours left of the work day, a throbbing head is no fun. Luckily, I was located near a water cooler, and sipped water throughout the day. Some days I even kept a tally on a sticky note to stay on track.
3. Get Moving:
After a full day interning, nothing sounds better than cozying up with a glass of wine and endlessly streaming The Mindy Project. I’ve been there. Resist! You’ve already been staring at a screen sitting all day, so treat each evening as a time to reset. Go on a walk with your roommate, hit the gym, ANYTHING to get you moving and your mind off work. You will feel so much better and ready for another day when you wake up in the morning, and you’ll be burning off all those calories from the infinite boxes of donuts in the community kitchen.
4. Speak Up/Network:
Yes you are an intern. Yes this puts you at the bottom of the totem pole, but the last thing you want to do is keep your mouth shut. Resist the urge to be shy. Say hi to people in the bathroom! Introduce yourself! It might be intimidating, but as much as this is a chance for you to feel out a company, it’s also a chance for a company to feel out whether or not you are going to be comfortable sharing ideas and collaborating with the team. Branch outside of your team. Make coffee dates with other employees in different departments working on projects you find really interesting. As always, make sure to add those you meet on LinkedIn, so you can keep in touch after the internship ends. To make it super classy you can even slip them your business card, which can be easily made on site like Zazzle. You never know, the one coffee date you were almost to intimidated to have could turn into a full time job offer!
5. Asks Questions
An internship is supposed to be a learning experience, therefore do not be afraid to ask questions. However, make sure you are using your resources for easy things like how to find shortcuts on Excel and Word and save your big picture questions for your supervisor. Asking questions shows you are interested in the work your company is doing and investing in developing yourself professionally. Likewise, if you want something, say something. If you know this is the kind of company you can see yourself working for, let it be known from the very beginning! A lot of companies consider their best performing interns for full time positions after the internship is over.
Now that we’ve covered all the basics , it’s time to put on your #GIRLBOSS blazer and hit those city streets. Remember, do not be afraid to fail. Mistakes happen and criticisms are a part of life. Your internship is a huge step into adulthood and could be a ticket to a full time job post graduation!