This week marked the start of one of my favorite seasons of the year: intern season. We had a great group of Enterns start at Engauge this week and I cannot wait to spend time with each one of them and learn more about their passions, experiences and goals over the next three months.
Interns always bring back so many memories of my intern experiences and it’s crazy to think it has been year(s) since I myself was an intern. First, congratulations. Getting an internship these days is an accomplishment in and of itself. You beat out countless other people for the position you now find yourself in and now it’s time to spend the next few months proving to everyone why you earned that spot.
In honor of the occasion, here are a few tips for anyone getting their foot in the door this summer.
1. Make it count. Work every day like it’s your first. If you think you are being judged, scored, evaluated everyday, it’s probably because you are. Prove to your company why they can’t survive without you.
2. Ask questions. Lots of them. You are not supposed to know everything, show that more often that not. The only way you are going to learn is to ask why, ask why not, ask what that crazy acronym stands for, chances are your coworkers will not look down on you for not knowing, but commend you for the courage it takes to speak up.
3. Dress for the job you want. Just because people at your office look like they just left a college classroom too, doesn’t mean you should. While you may not need to wear a suit everyday, no one ever looked down upon a girl in heels or a guy in a nice button down and kahkis. And even though Mark Zuckerburg can get away with a hoodie everyday, doesn’t mean you can.
4. Don’t do as your told. Do better. As an intern, you may be asked to help with not so fun tasks or projects, but most of the time if you weren’t there, we would be doing that work too. Go above and beyond and show your supervisor you are capable of thinking outside the box and event expanding the way they may think. When I first started my first internship I had no idea how to put together a good powerpoint presentation. During my down time I spent time on SlideShare trying to pick up tips from what others had done and applied that to my projects, that downtime went a long way.
5. Keep smiling and stay focused. In every single internship I ever had there were days I hated. There were days I came home and cried. Days when I felt like I wasn’t making a difference. But for every bad day, there were 10 good days that lead me to the place I am today. The relationships I formed became great friends, coworkers, mentors and bosses, who have all made me into the person I am today and I wouldn’t change a thing about the journey.
6. Enjoy it! You’re only an intern for so long. Have fun. Get out and meet people in the office. Go to a networking event. Make friends with the people you work with, don’t be afraid to show them who you are and why you are the best darn intern yet.