7 Mistakes I Made as an Intern & What I Wish I'd Done Differently

This article has been syndicated from Eyeliner Wings & Pretty Things, an InfluenceHer Collective Member. Read the full post here.

Each summer since I turned seventeen has been spent at an internship in NYC. I love being busy, and gaining experience was always a priority for me throughout college and beyond. With each internship I’ve definitely made my share mistakes, but grown from them. I’ve had summers with miserable lows and exciting highs, but hopefully you can avoid making the same mistakes I did. Looking back on it, here are just a few ways I wish I would have acted differently in each position. 

1. I was super quiet.

During one internship, I was a mere freshman and I guess I let that fact get the best of me. I’m usually incredibly talkative and social but with that position, I was so nervous that I couldn’t even say "good morning” or “goodbye” – I would just leave like a ghost. This was a huge mistake because I didn’t let my supervisor or fellow interns get to know who I really am. I seemed like a timid, boring person, when it reality I’m not that way. During your internship, you always want to showcase your best, authentic self, because those connections will help you get a job later! 

What I wish I’d done: I wish I had been more talkative and had gotten involved in conversations. I should've made a point to let my personality come through.

2. I didn’t try to socialize with other interns.

I liked them enough and we’re now friends on Facebook, but I wish I’d tried to get lunch with them or maybe grab dinner after work. It’s always nice to have friends and people in the same field as you, and again, those connections you make during the internship will prove so valuable when you're networking and applying to jobs later on. 

What I wish I’d done: I wish I’d connected with other interns, whether that be inviting them to check out the new dessert place down the block or simply grabing lunch. 

3. I didn’t keep in touch.

My supervisor was really sweet and knowledgeable, but after the internship (aside from a thank you card a few days after it ended) I didn’t stay in touch. I genuinely couldn’t figure out how to do it, also considering I hadn’t made it a point to forge those crucial connections during the actual internship period. 

What I wish I’d done: If I had practiced being social and talkative the whole time,  keeping in touch wouldn’t have been nearly as hard! Staying in touch is so much easier when you have common ground to send Instagram messages and quick emails about.

4. I didn’t track my progress.

By the time the internship ended, it was hard for me to see just how much I’d done. I ended up leaving out figures and numbers that could’ve looked impressive, simply because I forgot to log them.

What I wish I’d done: Made a spreadsheet to track all the work that I had done, the articles I created, and the statistics for social media and pageviews. All of this is important to put on a resume or showcase in future interviews, and measuring your growth and impact is a wonderful thing to have in your pocket. 

Read the full post here.