Internship Basics

Your internship is essential. Potential employers are bringing you in to impress them and teach you. It’s like a test. You’re given tasks and expected to complete this tasks by going above and beyond.

You can make it or break it.

You just have to make sure you’re their favorite intern to step through that door this year (or ever).

Don’t worry, it’s not that hard to impress your superiors if you’re doing your job and excelling at it. If you impress them, you’re golden. You just have to want to be there when it comes down to it. Step out of your shell when it comes to this internship and show off your potential. No reason to be shy this summer because you have tasks and you want to go above and beyond.

First, internships can be unpaid or paid — if you’re receiving a paid internship, go you! I never experienced a paid internship but I know they’re legit and they pay pretty well. You can strive to be paid and get your experience or you can go into it without getting paid and receiving your internship. At the end of the day, don’t let the money falter your goal.

Don’t think it’s going to be a cakewalk. You will be learning and you will be working.

Internships can be tough. They can help you decide if you want to continue with that direction. They’ll help you decide on if you really want to do this for the rest of your life.

Don’t worry, we’re going to talk about ways to make your internship just a bit more simple.

Have a good attitude

The basis of a good impression is a good attitude. You want to go into everything with an open-mind. Don’t shut everything down because you don’t think you’ll like it. You need to leave an impression that lets people know that you’re here and you like it. You don’t have to be smiley and all positive, but you need to want to be there and it needs to show. Just know that a good attitude goes a long way and can leave an impression that leads you to higher places.

Wear workplace attire

You need to look and dress the part if you want the part. Don’t flake out on looking like you are a part of the culture. A nice dress, skirt, dress pants, and a button-up can go a long way. Most places are business casual which is nice because they throw in dress down days and those are some of the best days. Take note of how other people are dressed and look into finding things in the same style. You don’t need to splurge on a wardrobe but buying a few staple pieces can go a long way. Take the time to look nice and put together an outfit that shows you put in the effort. Remember, dress for success!

Eager to learn

Always be eager to learn something new! You want your superiors to know that you want to learn and you want to be there. Why else would you be there? Be present in every conversation and presentation. You want to learn quickly and be able to put those findings into your work. Be open and be ready. Ask questions and learn, learn whatever you and whenever you can. Show your co-workers that you are intrigued and interested in what you are being shown. It’s always best to be interested rather than a know-it-all.

Bring the necessary tools

I guess you wouldn’t call these tools but office supplies. Be prepared, you might not have a desk or you might have to bring your own laptop. Try to figure out what you’ll be doing or what you will need. Show up with a writing utensil and paper, you want to be ready for notes. There might come a time when the supply closet is out and that could be on your first day, you want to have your own stuff so you aren’t stuck without anything. Plus, you might like your pens better (I know I like my own better).

Contribute ideas

If you have a good idea, share it. Most of the time your team is looking for a good idea and fresh perspective. That is something that you have to offer to the table. You have a fresh mind and fresh thoughts that the team doesn’t have to offer because you’re new. You’re not biased to the company yet, you can say things that might stand out. If you have ideas, share. Be open and lay them out on the table for your peers.

Always ask questions

This is your time to ask all the questions that you need to ask. Make sure that the question is the right question because you are still leaving an impression. If something isn’t clicking, reach out. If something doesn’t seem right to you, ask for further explanation. Do not be afraid to ask questions and get answers. Someone will have an answer for you, go for it.

Leave your personal life at home

Do not blab about your personal life to your coworkers. You don’t want to be that person that lets everyone know their business. That doesn’t leave a great impression. You can talk about some things here and there but you don’t need to talk about your breakups or how drunk you got the night before. People might listen but people are going to form judgments, too. Don’t talk about things that you wouldn’t talk about with strangers — co-workers aren’t on the level of needing to know everything and they shouldn’t be until you know them for some time.

Be on top of things

Have a planner, be organized. You need to stay on top of things so that your superiors know that you’re all about this internship. Get ahead of the game and impress these people. You want them to see that you prioritize your work. They need to know where your priorities lay and that you are 100% in this. Do your thing and stay head.

It’s not as tough as you think it’s going to be after a few weeks. It gets easier as you get into a rhythm. You figure things out and you learn.

Just go at it with all that you have and remember to have a good time. If you want to figure out what you should remember along the way, you can check out my post about 5 Things to Remember as an Intern and apply those to your life.

Entering the world of internships is crazy and exciting. It’s a whirlwind of emotions that you get to experience. You’re going to feel the pressure of being great and staying on top of things. You get to make this experience your experience and hopefully, this post helps take away some nerves and prepares you for one of the best things to help you in this journey to adulting. Let this be your take away to standing out just a little bit and leaving a wonderful impression on those around you.

What are your tips for interns?

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7 Comments

  1. August 1, 2017 / 11:08 am

    Such a good list of tips!! Really helpful & I think it applies to working your first full time job as well!

    • August 2, 2017 / 8:28 am

      Definitely! You can apply these to a first job, for sure. Especially, if that first job is for experience and a way to set foot in the world.

  2. August 1, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    So glad that you shared these internship tips because I’m actually about to start an internship for my Master’s program and I’ve never done an internship before. Honestly, it sounds really similar ot working. But for free.

    • August 2, 2017 / 8:28 am

      Congrats on your internship! I wish I had looked up tips before I had my own but it’s definitely like working minus the paycheck.

  3. August 2, 2017 / 11:31 am

    yes to being on top of things! I had to manage an intern at my job recently and he was great – but he had zero initiative and I always had to check in on him with everything. As an intern, you should be competent enough to take the job and own it! That’s what really makes you stand out 🙂

    • August 5, 2017 / 12:08 pm

      I agree, do all things that will make you stand out in a good way! I had to learn to take initiative and it has helped me out in my career.

  4. August 2, 2017 / 3:57 pm

    Mm yes and an internship is a requirement for my degree along with a class that goes with it! Such a great exprience though, so I’m excited to start one this year 🙂

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