Starting an Internship? Here's What You Should Know

Starting an Internship? Here's What You Should Know

If you’re a college student, you most likely have a summer internship. You’re probably excited to get experience, but the working world is a whole new playing field. So what do you do when you have that internship? If you’ve ever felt confused or behind, don’t worry. In order to help you out, I’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts for your internship.

Do take notes. Everywhere you go, carry a notebook and a pen with you. It can’t hurt to take notes on everything you’re doing and learning.

Do set goals. Make a list of goals for yourself at the beginning of your internship. What do you want to learn? What set of skills do you hope to gain by the end of the internship? Write them down and set out to reach them.

Do find a mentor. Finding a mentor isn’t about going on a search for one. Your mentor will find you. There will be someone in your office that takes you under their wing, and it will be great.

PHOTO: Natalie Miller

Do learn from your mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. But what’s most important is being sure that you learn from them. Every mistake is an opportunity to grow.

Do be proactive. Figure out what your boss wants and try to help them out before they even ask you. It shows that you’re eager to work.

Do network. I know most people tell you to network in order to get internships, but it’s just as important to network with people within the company. Who knows what they could do for you down the road?

PHOTO: Ali Bell

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your manager and the people around you want to help you. It’s always better to ask a question than to do a task wrong, and it will show you’re eager to learn.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I can guarantee you that people who are full-time staff in your office have made mistakes. No one is going to be mad at you if you mess up.

Don’t forget to be yourself. Be yourself. They hired you because they knew that your personality would fit in with the team, so don’t be afraid to use your personality traits to your advantage.

Don’t be on your phone all day. I know we’re all addicted to our phones, but during the work day try not to constantly be on it.

And most importantly…

Do have fun. You may be working, but have fun with it. The word “work” doesn’t have to have a negative connotation. Make the most of it!

Do you have other suggestions for interns? Share with me in the comments below.

Featured photo by Anna Coke.