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5 Tips for Your First Internship

Everyone feels a little nervous before starting their first internship. Sure, most of us have summer work experience but it tends to feel a little different to start a job that might turn into a career or will at the very least steer you toward your future dream job. Here are some simple tips to get you through the first day (or month) jitters.

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Your employer knows your background and that this is your first job outside of temporary things during the summers – and they still hired you! I can guarantee that they won’t assume you know everything already. So, don’t be afraid to ask help from your co-workers if you don’t know something. It’s better to ask beforehand than to do something wrong and having to do it all over again. Remember always that you’re there to learn!

2. Don’t be afraid of mistakes.

While we all want to succeed, it’s more than likely that you will make mistakes. If you do, own up to them and make sure your employer knows that you learned from your mistakes. This goes hand in hand with the first advice: no one is expecting you to be perfect at everything right away – just do your best!

3. Make your voice heard.

You might be hesitant about voicing your opinions, when you’re the new kid on the block and everyone else seems so effortless at their jobs. However, especially in an internship, you should be learning and making most of the experience! And being the wallflower will not make you shine. If you really want to impress your boss and co-workers, you have to take a risk and speak up.

4. Mingle with your new colleagues.

While it might be intimidating coming into a new work environment where everyone knows each other, chances are that they just want to be friendly and helpful. After all, in most work environments, helping your work mate helps the whole team. Join in on lunch outings and chime in on the latest gossip (about celebs or TV shows, NEVER about other colleagues) during a coffee break in order to make yourself a part of the group! This is the time to make connections before you enter the job market after graduation.

5. Push yourself.

Do all your assignments on time, even in advance if possible and always be ready to help out when needed. This gives a great impression and might even secure you a permanent position in the company. Just remember not to stretch yourself too thin – no one can do everything and if you truly feel your plate is full, communicate that to your boss. However, if you have the time to do an extra task for your workmate or your boss, you show that you’re a team player and important one at that!

Good luck to anyone who has nabbed an internship and is starting this new chapter – make the most of it!

An English philology major with a passion for reading and writing. I also like photography and wish I was better at it. If you're a fan of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Charmed or Buffy, we already have something in common.
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