After spending hours submitting applications and polishing your resume, you have finally received that coveted email of acceptance into the internship program you have so fiercely sought after.
• Have reasonable expectations: You might be working in a chic office, but you will probably still be making copies and stapling packets intertwined with getting to participate on creative projects.
• Have regular meetings with your supervisor(s): Stay up-to-date on company progressions and inform them of your growth and accomplishments by meeting with your higher-ups regularly.
• Maintain a positive attitude: Don’t become an elitist, even if you are the rock-star intern who is working alongside Anna Wintour for the summer. A popular mistake is disrespecting secretaries and receptionists in your office, you may think you’re above them and your job is more important than theirs, but remember they’re on payroll and you’re still cramming for finals.
• Keep learning:Never miss an opportunity to learn more about the company you’ve been chosen to contribute to, this includes reading company materials, press releases and online website content.
• Arrive early: Be prompt to not only the office, but also to meetings and conference calls. Practice your commute before your first day on the job and test out alternate routes in the instance of a traffic delay.
• Act the part: You may have been born to stand out, but at an internship it is important to blend in. Employers are looking for an employee who fits nicely into the company’s existing culture, so let your consistent and reliable work ethic speak for itself.
• Be inquisitive: Don’t be afraid to ask questions and then take initiative. Your supervisor expects to have to walk you through the first couple of weeks, because after all, you are there to learn, but after that, it’s time for you to take charge and show them what you’ve got!
• Befriend a mentor: Finding a mentor can be crucial to becoming a shield from office politics and to also get the opportunity to really learn some things. They can also be a great resource to discuss ideas first with because interpersonal relationships are just as important as professional ones. There is a reason the teacher’s pets were so successful.
• Never stop networking. You will not only need a good reference from your superiors for future job applications, but you should want to maintain relationships with your colleagues in the future. Don’t skip your lunch break to try and impress your boss, instead take that time to dine with other employees to establish better relationships with them.
Most importantly, remember that just like your college career, you will get out of your summer internship, exactly what you put into it.