Some tips to keep in mind as you anticipate an internship experience:
- Establish goals for the experience: personal, skills, and career knowledge.
- Learn the company culture, dress and behave accordingly.
- Be on time. Being late is inconsiderate. If it is unavoidable, contact your supervisor.
- Carry a notepad and pen with you at all times. Write down instructions and questions.
- Ask questions until all instructions are clear, then follow those instructions carefully.
- Before asking questions, think through a possible solution, then when presenting your questions, explain your thinking process and where you got stuck.
- As a newbie, expect to do some of the less desirable tasks (i.e. paying your dues!).
- Ask for More – When you are ready for more challenging tasks, tell your supervisor.
- Always proofread anything you are to submit at least twice before passing it on.
- Ask ‘Why?’ and be observant of both people and methods. An employee is valuable not only for the work he/she can perform, but also for knowing why things are done in certain ways.
- Reach out – ask people to have lunch with you; seek ways to learn what people around you do.
- Do not make/receive personal phone calls, texts or conduct personal internet searches on your employer’s time – no matter how bored you are. This is a fast way to ruin the respect people have for you. If you’ve run out of things to do, ask people if you can be of help to them.
- Say Please & Thank you – Express appreciation for courtesies and considerations shown to you.
- Avoid getting sucked into office gossip or being drawn into departmental politics.
- Maintain a positive attitude – Unconsciously, you influence the attitudes and general morale of others.
- Track accomplishments – keep a log of projects you’ve worked on and skills you’ve developed; ask if you can distribute later, examples of your work (LinkedIn, job interview portfolio).
- Reflect – how does the environment feel to you? Do you enjoy the people, work, culture? If not, think about what you want to do/learn in your next internship!
- Ending – have an exit interview with your supervisor, leave a Thank you note, ask about future opportunities there, ask for job references, and stay in touch!
Above all else – ENJOY!!!