For many people getting to where you want to be career-wise usually starts at the bottom of the ladder. Being the littlest fish in the biggest pond and whilst you're down there, you're usually expected to pick up some basic, not-so-fancy, grunt work! Interning and work experience in an industry you are passionate about can be the greatest thing for your career. Showing that you can do the basics really well, work hard,and aren't afraid to get your hands dirty almost stands out more on a resume than degrees and grades!
Here are out top 5 lessons from an office full of experienced past-interns. Check them out!
Networking is so important and it starts here.
The best thing you can do when starting an internship is to build, build, build connections! This can be digitally on LinkedIn - don't be afraid to send connection requests to other interns you're working with or your seniors. Otherwise in person is even better! When your boss mentions that she knows someone who knows someone who is in the industry, start a conversation and follow it through to start building relationships. Finding and nurturing relationships can also lead to some awesome mentors!
Long gone are the days of kisses on the end of text messages, you're in the business world now so it's time to write like it! It can be difficult to get used to, but taking in the kind of language your co-workers use, in meetings and over emails will help you build your professional tone of voice.
Don’t expect a gold star for good work
When interning you have usually been hired to do the nitty-gritty jobs that other workers don't have time to do (photocopying and coffee runs anyone?!) However if you've landed an awesome role that is keen to develop your skills you'll of course be putting 100% effort into your work. Saying that, don't expect praise all the time! If you do a good job, praise and recognition will come in the long run from a good boss, but not for every little task.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Nobody wants to seem like they don't know what they're doing, but staying silent is a no-no. Blindly saying yes to tasks can end up with you producing less-than-great work, not completing jobs, or unfortunately looking like you just don't have the smarts or expertise. Ask questions! Always! A mentor or trainer would always rather explain at the start, than fix mistakes later.
This may seem like a strange one, you're at an internship to work hard... right? Correct, but you also want the feedback and recommendations that comes out to say that you're a friendly person too! Saying yes to lunches, coffees and Friday night drinks will help you bond with your colleagues and let you get to know them on a more personal level, and you'll be able to show off your star personality!