1.a student or trainee who works, sometimes without pay, at a trade or occupation in order to gain work experience.
Amid the many facets to an internship like teaching one new skills or learning about an industry, there are some things that cannot be taught. Your academic advisor may have told you to display your skills on your resume. “Photoshop and Excel are a plus.” “That is something that would look great on your resume.” I’ve heard these things coming from advisors, teachers and parents alike but what these skills fail to mention are the simple and overlooked ways to navigate an internship.
1: Eavesdropping: Every industry uses different dialect that you’re going to want to pick up on to communicate with your supervisor or other interns. I noticed that by “Eavesdropping,” listening in on what people are talking about, would help you be in the know about things.
2: Do it with a smile: Internships aren’t always fair. I’m not saying you should gladly be going on coffee runs because hopefully you should never have to intern for a company that doesn’t respect their interns or makes them do tasks beyond your intern description. However, if you are told to redo something because you weren’t meticulous enough or told to run an errand, do it with a smile. It goes a long way with your supervisor.
3: Ambition is the key to success: There is going to be competition among the other interns in your department. They may go into detail about all the experience they have and all the other internships they’ve done. You’re going to feel intimidated because at the end of the day you are all on similar career paths competing for the same jobs. Your ambition can override your colleague’s master degree or someone else’s excel skills.
4: We’re all in this together: The other interns in your department don’t have to become your best friend but they are your teammates. Don’t go behind their back and tell your supervisor something about them. Confront them and deal with it privately. Work with them. If one of your co-workers are sick, text them. If you know another intern did something wrong, tell them privately and help them fix it.
5: Started from the bottom now we here: Every paid worker at the company you’re interning for was a student like you. The career trajectory they followed was probably similar to yours. Don’t feel intimidated. They have more experience but know what it feels like to start at the bottom of the totem pole like you.
6: Be passionately curious: My marketing teacher would say this every day before he started his lesson. It really stuck with me. Teachers and intern supervisors WANT you to ask questions. You’re not being annoying, you’re learning.
7: Be Aggressive, be be aggressive: Even if someone doesn’t ask you for help, go ahead and help. You need to take charge of tasks and show that you know what you’re doing.
8: Stand out: The other interns in your department are like you. They probably have some of the same interests as you. They might share the same major as you. They don’t have all the same skills as you do though. You’re going to be competing for your attention and need something to separate you from the rest. They want you to do something above and beyond what you’re expected to do or lead a big project.
9: Invest in your career: One of the best pieces of advice my SBH Gem mentor and Senior online editor of Glamour Magazine, Sophia Chabbott, gave me when I felt down about not getting paid for my internship was, “This is an investment in your career.” It is now my daily mantra. I read an article recently that said internships like Ivy League colleges are especially hard on students who can’t afford it. Some people can’t afford to have an internship because they have to utilize all their time working for pay. Be thankful for your internship.
10: Let me introduce myself: You never who is going to be your next connection. Network with everyone, ESPECIALLY the other interns. They might have interned somewhere you want to intern for in the future and can give you their supervisor’s contact information and put in a good word for you.
Posted on CSN Network