‘Tis the season to be jolly—you’re enhancing your professional career by taking on a winternship this break! HC filled you in on everything you need to know and now we’ve compiled some insider tips on how to make the best impression on your supervisor(s) this December/January. Read on for the deets!
1. Acquaint yourself with the staff.
With only a few weeks on the job, you’ll want to form plenty of solid relationships while interning. “I think one of the most important parts of the internship experience for both the intern and the staff is getting to know one another,” says Arianna Davis, editorial assistant at O, The Oprah Magazine. “I’d suggest you really make the time to talk to those you’ll be working with as soon as possible,” she says. Without interrupting or pestering your company’s staffers, offer some insight or comment on a project you just completed. Starting a substantial conversation shows genuine interest and will help the employees remember you.
2. Share your goals.
Another way to avoid being just another wintern? Open up to your supervisors about your interests and make them clear. “If you let them know right away what your interests and aspirations are, they’ll not only be impressed that you’re confident enough to talk with them and ask questions, but they can also try to give you projects that coincide with those things in the short amount of time that you are there,” Arianna advises. Once you’ve been at your internship for a few days, compile a “winternship goal list” and bring one of them up when the moment arises. Perhaps you’re a tech talent who wants to learn how your company develops its apps. Try this:
YOU: “Hi Splendid Supervisor! I would love to learn more about how the company develops its iPad app. Might I be able to assist or observe the process during my time here?”
Once you’ve shared your goals, you’ll be the wintern on everyone’s mind.
3. Come early and leave late.
If you’ve interned before, you’ve likely arrived super early and seen the few early birds tackling their assignments before everyone else. Same with those who stay late—the ones who stick around are not only busy working on their projects but are also building an office reputation of being a hard worker. “I’d say I leave my internship late more than half the time, but it definitely doesn’t go unnoticed,” says Nick Schweers, a Hofstra University junior and intern at public relations agency 360i. “I’d rather get done what needs to be done than have to worry about doing it the next morning when I will have new assignments,” he says. When you’re the wintern who shows up early and/or stays late, your supervisor is bound to be impressed.
4. Be thoughtful and pleasant.
With your limited time to make a lasting impression, going above and beyond the minimal winternship duties is essential. Make sure you’re thoughtful and pay close attention to every detail from a quick email update to research compilation. If you are making the lives of your supervisor(s) even a little bit easier, then you’re on the right track. Ultimately, this well set you apart from your co-winterns and come in handy down the line.
“I can usually tell almost immediately who the stellar interns will be,” says Arianna. “There are interns that do a pretty good job; they get their assignments done on time, and are reliable and efficient. But then there are the standout interns. Those are the ones who are enthusiastic, who never act as though a task is too big or too small, who work hard and let you know how happy they are to be getting experience.” While other winterns may be complaining about their workload or the miserable weather outside, you can be the one who fits Arianna’s description. “What I really love is to see interns who are willing to go the extra inch, and do so with a smile on their face — those are the ones who I know will succeed,” she says.
5. Dress appropriately for the weather.
The weather outside will be frightful, HCers, so make sure you find a happy medium between dressed to impress and dressed to brave the elements. Opt for a warm down-feather jacket and stylish black boots so you can get to work or run errands whether it’s sleeting, snowing, or hailing. “I hate sitting in the office with soggy jeans all day, so I advise all winterns to invest in a good windbreaker or umbrella,” says Nick. You can also download the free Weather Channel app and set it for the precise zip code of your office and check it as soon as you wake up or even before you go to bed. That way you won’t be stuck knee-deep in snow and risk ruining your favorite black flats.
6. If the weather is bad—have a backup plan.
Even the best winterns shouldn’t have to weather this kind of storm
7. Take each project seriously.
“Interning during the winter semester allowed me to intern more days a week and build a closer relationship with my bosses because not many people intern over the winter semester,” said Hofstra University senior Dara Adeeyo. Dara spent her past winter break at teenvogue.com and will be heading to the offices of Harper’s Bazaar this winter. She ended up begin the only intern at TV last break, which meant more responsibility and opportunities to show off her skills. If you take each assignment seriously, no matter its level of significance in your eyes, you will be rewarded just like Dara. Don’t ever roll your eyes at a less-than-glamorous assignment; treat each task seriously. If you show deep reverence for where you work, you may just be asked to stick around for another semester.
With these tips in your arsenal, we have no doubt you’ll totally rock your winternship this season! Be sure to let us know how it goes—then we’ll all have something to be a little extra jolly about.
Did you decide to take on a winternship this break? Let us know where you’re working and how it’s going in the comments section below!
Arianna Davis, Editorial Assistant at O, The Oprah Magazine
Dara Adeeyo, Hofstra University senior, Harper’s Bazaar wintern
Nick Schweers, Hofstra University junior, 360i wintern