Landing an internship during your summer break is great. Whether it’s required for your major or it’s just something you want to do for your career, having this work experience under your belt and on your resume will help you in the future. Keep in mind that not all internships are created equal. Some are unpaid while others compensate you or give you a stipend. There are full time positions and others can be part time. Some internships even count for college credits and can replace a class. You just have to find what works best for you and your summer schedule.
Here’s what to expect from your summer internship:
There will be busy work
No one likes busy work. As an intern, you are on the bottom of the totem pole and you will be the one stuck with those tasks. The good thing about busy work is that is passes the time.
You need to be on time
Showing up late is not okay. This goes for being on time to work, meetings, work-shops, phone calls or anything else. It will be seen as you not taking your job seriously and you could potentially lose your internship. Show up a few minutes early just for good measure.
You are expected to be professional
Always dress to impress. Make sure you know the dress code and the difference between business casual and college casual. Keep your conversations and actions appropriate at all times.
You will network and make contacts
This is the first step in your professional career and you will meet plenty of new people. Make sure to get some contacts and create a working relationship with your peers and other interns. Networking is so important to your future, you never know what opportunities could come up all because you know the right people.
You will make mistakes
Everyone does. It is absolutely okay to mess up, it’s expected, but how you deal with the mistake is what’s important. If you do something wrong always make sure you do what you can to fix it, learn from it, and don’t make the same mistake twice.
You will be encouraged to speak up
If you have a great idea, don’t hold back! Make sure your supervisors know what you are thinking because they will appreciate the fresh ideas and different perspective you have. You are not just there for your own benefit, but theirs as well.
You will get bored
There will be things you are assigned that you don’t enjoy or just don’t want to do. Make sure to stay busy, ask others if they need help. Do not just sit around and watch the clock because it will not go unnoticed and can make you seem unmotivated and uninterested.
You will learn new skills
Having an internship is a learning experience. Pay attention to the different jobs you are doing and hold on to the skills that can help you with your career, like making spreadsheets in Excel for example.
You will have to ask for help
At some point you will be asked to do something that you know absolutely nothing about. Instead of just winging it, ask for help. It will be appreciated.