Having an internship gives you a slice of what’s in store for you in the real world. You get to learn more about the career path you plan to take, and even take in some ‘real world’ advice from professionals for free. It’s one of those tiring, yet amazing experiences you’ll ever have. Internships will not only feed your mind with certain ideas, but they will also feed your soul with so much drive. It’s only up to you if you will make the most out of it, or not.
I interned for two big media outlets, and through my experience I have realized that there are 10 things you should do to make the most out of your stay.
1. Be early.
Take the initiative to come on time, or before the time that is set for you. It’s good that you practice your work ethics before you get in the ‘real world.’ It won’t hurt to be there an hour earlier than your boss, or everyone else. It will give them an impression that you are interested in the job that you applied for.
2. Be happy to help.
You are there to learn, and staring at every single employee won’t help you. Be happy to help, and show them that you are involved with what everyone is doing. Make them feel your interest, and show them that you are eager to know more about the field you are planning to take.
3. Allow yourself to learn.
Don’t suck up to the idea that you are already good. You applied for an internship to learn. Allow yourself to be criticized by people who have been practicing since before you were born. You never know — their crazy ideas or seemingly misplaced idealism might take your passion for the craft into greater heights.
4. Be humble.
In line with ‘allowing yourself to learn,’ you also have to be humble. You are back to zero. No one knows who you are or what your ‘accomplishments’ are. Show them that you’re not a d-bag for bragging about everything you have done in college or in another organization. Just show them what you can do, and let your actions speak for themselves.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Again, you are there to learn. If you already know everything, then why are you still an intern? Makes sense, right? Don’t be afraid to admit to them that you don’t know what you’re doing. Sometimes it actually is better to admit to your ignorance than to pretend to be a know-it-all sometimes. Ask. It’s about the extra knowledge and wisdom you’ll get. They may not be paying you with cash, but they’ll pay you with tips.
6. Build connections.
Be friendly. What’s the use of an internship if you won’t build connections? It’s a good thing that you are finally going out of your comfort zone, now push yourself further and acquaint yourself with everybody. Also, there’s a difference between being friendly, and being clingy. Make sure you stay on the right side of that.
7. Slowly build your reputation.
If you want to be remembered, do your best to show them what you’re capable of. The people for whom you intern now might be the reason why you will be employed in your future job, or not. Show them your good side.
Who would want to work with a grouch? Not you, not me, and obviously not your boss. Smile, but don’t fake it. Make them feel that even it’s hard and stressful, you are happy to help (check out #2!).
9. Do your job well.
Don’t procrastinate. Even you are not being paid for this internship, do your job well. Practice good work ethics because eventually you will retain whatever you do regularly. Do your job well, and don’t complain. You are there to immerse yourself to your possible future career, and through doing your job well; you will be able to asses and improve yourself for what may lie ahead.
10. Know everyone’s name.
Why? Simple. You don’t want to be called George if you’re a Greg, right? Know their names, and remember them.