Tips On Surviving Your Internship

After surviving an internship during my study abroad trip in England, I felt more than once that I could have benefitted from some  sort of advice or pep talk. It would have helped me know what to expect before heading out. Although my internship was in England, the following things I learned can be used in any internship experience:

Go in Ready to Learn

It’s okay if you know nothing. No one will think less of you for admitting that you don’t know how to work a program or if you need to ask questions. They read your resume and hired you knowing what you do and don’t know. It’s best to ask right away when you don’t understand, otherwise you risk doing it wrong or feeling frustrated. Learning is the reason you’re there, and a good internship will understand that.

Get to Know the People  You Work With

It there are other team members or interns around you, get to know them. You can ask other people in the company what they do; If you show interest, they will most likely tell you everything you want to know. If you feel comfortable enough you can even talk about non-work related things too. It’s okay to ask  a person how they got into the job that you are interested in. Getting to know your co-workers not only helps you communicate your interest in the company, but it can also help you learn what it’s like to be apart of a team. Plus, it also helps you network to form the connections that you need in the future!

Remember That it’s Important, No Matter How Small

Even if you are doing seemingly “small” tasks like scanning documents, remember that it is important work. If it wasn’t needed, they wouldn’t have you do it. Little things add up, and if you are excited and willing to do the little things, it will help you build trust with the company to do the bigger tasks. Often, tasks that may seem small actually take longer than expected, which will make whoever you are interning for very grateful to have you doing it.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for a Reference Letter

It is okay to ask for a reference at the end, and sometimes even expected. If you really enjoyed your time and believed that you’ll be talking about the experience it in the future, ask for a reference letter to show other employers. Also, remember to send a thank you letter or email at the end of your internship, thanking the company for the experience to work for them and how much you learned from them. It is a nice, professional gesture that will make you look like an exceptional intern!

Overall, go in with an excited and open mindset. Internships can feel like another class, but know that they are a transition period in your life, and that you are there to learn and grow. Good luck out there, and just remember to give it your all!