Summer internships are a funny thing. It’s a situation that puts a young, naive college student into the work force without any real experience to try to assist experienced professionals at a real company that does real work for real clients. For me, it was a little intimidating. I had no clue on my first day what I was going to be doing. I walked into the office on the first day just trying not to look like an idiot. Luckily, the people working at my office were extremely understanding, patient and kind. They allowed me to gain experience in many different areas of the marketing, advertising and public relations field. However, some people aren’t as lucky to have great coaches like me at their internships, so here are 5 tips for interns who are crazy nervous about their first internship:1. Be Positive
Don’t be annoying, but have a good, positive and helpful attitude with whatever assignment or project you get assigned. Being an intern means you aren’t always going to be working on the most fun, flashy projects with the highest-tech technology. Sometimes you will be proofing, stapling papers, typing up word documents or running errands. But, as you do good work without complaining you’ll end up being a part really cool and innovative projects that will prepare you for the future.
This seems obvious, but in the real world there is no “losing points on a late assignment”. You’re dealing with real clients who are paying you to do a job- so make sure it’s done on time (or early in case you need to make revisions.)
3. Don't be high maintenance
As an intern, you are supposed to make everybody else’s life easier, not the other way around. Be helpful and do whatever needs to be done!
4. Learn learn learn!
Believe it or not, the people you’re working with are a lot smarter than you. Some of them have been in the work force longer than you’ve been alive, so be humble, respectful and learn as much as you possibly can from them. Watch how they work, how they treat clients, how they prioritize jobs etc. Absorb as much information as you can and you’ll get the most out of your internship.
5. Have a good work ethic!
If you find yourself struggling at your internship, there are things you can do that take zero talent. Be on time, putting time and effort into projects, having positive body language, going the extra mile, being prepared and being coachable! You’ll make mistakes, but keep working at it and don’t get discouraged.
I have tried to get as much as I possibly can out of my summer internship, simply by trying to copy the work ethic and work strategy of my co-workers. This summer at The Impact Group has taught me more about being a valuable employee and how the work force works than any college class ever could, and I’m so thankful for the incredible opportunity it provided me. It’s been a successful summer.