When I started my internship, I got many variations of the same advice from my parents, mentors, roommates, and other interns. The keys to a successful internship are to: never complain about the work you get, and make yourself invaluable — as in, work so hard and work so well that people forget you are merely an intern and look at you as part of the team. I have used these pieces of advice to guide my summer, and consider these to be the keys towards being successful.
Not complaining is an incredibly important piece of advice. Internships exist to help you get career experience and to help you network — therefore, it’s important to make the most of the experiences you have and to do the work you are given. I took this to heart throughout my summer and was willing to do anything my employers asked me to do. Sometimes I had to come into the office early or stay late to finish projects, sometimes I had to run errands or complete small tasks that other people didn’t have time for — all of these things were important for me to gain experience working in the office, for me to make the lives of my supervisors easier, and were a way for me to prove that I was responsible and willing to work hard and do whatever people needed, which led to me getting harder tasks and projects and more responsibility. It’s important to do things that seem small and to not complain because once the people around you see that you have a good work ethic and you are willing to step up and do things, they are more willing to give you responsibilities.
In addition, I refused to slack off during my internship. At a small office like the one where I worked, a lot of times the work that an intern does is actually integral to the projects. Because of this, I worked hard to make sure I was producing the best possible work and made sure to regularly ask my bosses if they had additional work for me to do. I wanted them to see me as an important part of how the office functioned, and not just as an intern. This is an important life lesson to always work as hard as possible. It has payed off for me because my bosses have seen how hard I am willing to work and so they are willing to recommend me for other positions and help me network to gain more knowledge and connections in the industry.
I am so grateful I had the opportunity to intern and take this advice to heart, and I hope it helps other interns too.