12 Ways To Survive Your First Summer Internship

After constant nagging by my parents and continuous submissions of online resumes, I finally landed a summer internship before my last year of University.

I worked for a magnificent marketing company in Vancouver, and two amazing bosses, which I couldn’t thank enough for giving me such valuable experience. Marketing was a new field to me- a field that gave me yet another reason to recognize how useless my college degree and experience really was in the real world.

1. Be early. Not on time, but early. Every day. Your boss will recognize this and your commitment.

2. Coffee. If you’re not a morning person, become one.

3. Assume you know nothing…because you probably don’t. So listen.

4. That being said- your boss is always right. Always. They know more than you and they’ve been doing this longer than you have.

5. It’s normal to make mistakes– and more often than not, your boss will understand that.

6. Dressing the part actually matters. Sure, “you’re there to work and not for a fashion show” (loosely quoted from my mom), but look good, feel good, right?

7. Say yes– eagerness is recognized, too.

8. Phone calls are important, and being able to talk to people is important. It’s okay to rehearse and practice talking on the phone before you pick it up. We live in a generation where texting means it is possible to go a full day without speaking out loud.

9. You’re never too good for a job. Odds are you will have to run some sort of errand for your boss, and if that means unloading the dishwasher, then you better unload those dishes with a smile on your face.

10. On that note, no one is wasting your time, and you’re not doing anyone a favour by being there. You’re gaining valuable experience on someone else’s time! Take advantage of it and appreciate the opportunity given.

11. Build a portfolio of what you’ve done! Keep track of things you’ve done, and even take pictures if you want! It’s important to be able to recognize how much you’ve achieved.

12. Enjoy it. This is your first real life, real job experience. Before you know it, you’ll be back in school and missing the rush of an office and not having to spend grueling hours at the library.


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