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What to Expect for Your First Summer Internship

You have put in the work for applications, prepped the interviews and accepted an offer for your first internship. Congrats! This may be your first experience in this particular setting and final experience before going into the real world. While all internships are unique, there are many things you can do to leave a great impression with the company and get the most out of your experience. Good luck this summer!

Network with Everyone

When working in a company, it can feel intimidating to reach out to older employees. So, some of the best people to reach out to are, in fact, the other interns and recent college grads – they know what it’s like to be at the bottom of the heap. Reaching out will leave a great impression and open the door for making new friends in the area.

The Extra Mile

“Go the extra mile, it’s not crowded.” This phrase is especially applicable to interns. Keep an eye out for things that can be done; doing the bare minimum won’t help maximize your potential. Also be sure to dress on the nicer side. Take advantage of every bonding event, lunch and happy hour. The bosses want to know that you are getting a lot out of the experience!


There are fewer things that look worse than strolling into the office late and walking past everyone on your way to your desk or cubicle. Make sure to get to your internship as early as you possibly can – especially if you are navigating public transportation and commuting for the first time.

Ask Questions

There are tons of opportunities for learning on the job. It’s better to ask, even if you’re nervous, before making a mistake. Asking questions will never make you look bad, and most people are more than willing to help (truth be told, we all like to feel important and helpful).

Keep in Contact

Despite maybe feeling like a small fish in a big pond, most of the people you work with would love to be helpful in the path to finding your career down the road. Try to keep up with them through email or telephone. (My bosses from last year and I follow each other on Instagram!)

Write Thank You Notes

One of the most important things to do, regardless of the internship experience, is to write a thank you note. It leaves a lasting impression, and employers will notice (especially because the practice is far less common with younger people).

Emma Sheehy is a senior English major at Bucknell University. Now washed up, she can be seen running around Lewisburg, people watching on the first floor of the library and drinking wine in her apartment. She prefers to send snail mail, call people rather than text (to the dismay of her friends) and loves nighttime walks. To see more of her "stuff" check out her personal blog on life at Bucknell at http://www.emmasheehy.com.
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