Things you should know before your internship

Getting the internship you wanted is always exciting. The new experiences and opportunities you anticipate, as well as the peek into adulting, through the paradigm of getting a job, is awesomely exhilarating. Though there is no foolproof way to be perfectly prepared for your internship, here are a few things I deem important to be in the know about before starting your internship.
Find out what the job entails, and what will be required of you before you arrive on the first day.
In the excitement of snagging that offer, it is easy to forget to ask your boss the important questions, such as what will you need to perform your job. You then get to your first day 10-15 mins early(looking fresh and spiffy), only to be given a quick introduction to your workspace and left to fend for yourself. Immediately the dread of proverbially being left to sink or swim in the ocean of work delegated to you takes over. Not a good look!

Before you walk in for that first day, don’t forget to ask for a synopsis or work expectations, how many hours you will be expected to work and what items you will be expected to have in order to perform your job.

When in doubt, ask!
The next tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. There have been many times that I have been befuddled by what was tasked to me. Sometimes I would sit there for an incredulous amount of time trying to figure it out on my own. While it is good to develop that level of independence, many times this strategy leads to a lot of lost time that could be used more propitiously by asking for help. There is often times no consequences to asking for help when you sincerely have no idea about what to do, so just do it! Adding to this, you never want to be seen slacking off and using your phone (an utmostly egregious workplace sin). When there is unavoidable downtime, ask if there is something productive that you can do in this free time. Your employer will love you for it.

Confidence is key
Finally, as an intern in the busyness and stress of the job, it is easy to start feeling that you are insignificant. In these times, you shouldn’t forget that you are there for a reason. Someone took the time to interview you and is now entrusting you with duties that affect their company or organization. You are important! Many places seek out interns for their fresh viewpoints and unbiased perspectives that haven’t been tainted by years of doing the same job that harbors a linearity in opinions. so don’t be afraid to voice your opinions and bringing your new and fresh ideas to the table. Your boss will again appreciate it(most times) and bosses appreciating their interns is never a bad thing.

One thought on “Things you should know before your internship

  • July 19, 2018 at 3:37 pm
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    I love the mix of information and humor in this post, Andre – nice work! The wisdom and perspective you’ve built from your own internship experience with MyVoice is clear. Where do you see some of this same advice informing your continued professional development and goals? Your reflection here also makes me wonder how you are thinking about wrapping up and transitioning out of your internship into your next professional chapter. Thanks for a great read!
    -Kate

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