Surviving Your Summer Internship

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Summer internships are a blessing and a curse. For some people it is their first-look at the business world, for others it is a chance to get ahead or their last chance to seal a full-time offer post-graduation with their dream company. No matter how you look at it, it is a major point in a student's life, and it is undoubtably intimidating. Our Her Campus IUP Campus Correspondent has offered some of her tips to survive your summer intership, and a few lessons and tips from her past experiences.  

1) Walk in with confidence

One of the scariest things in a new job is walking in the first day, when you do not know anyone or anything. Everything you see, everyone you meet, and likely everything you do will be brand new. It is very easy to get overwhelmed. In situations like this, confidence is key. If you are working for a corporation in an office setting, you will likely be meeting with someone from Human Resources on your first day. These people deal with new employees often - it is their job, do not be intimidated by them.

Sometimes it helps to bring some 'comfort' items with you. For me, I knew I needed a pop of color in my day, so I was sure to always bring my Vera Bradley Accordion Wallet with me. While I was worried about be labeled 'childish' I came to notice that a lot of women I worked with had Vera Bradley bags. The adorable patterns definitely brought a smile to my face, and were suprisingly a great conversation starter when walking down the hallway in the morning!

2) Do not be afraid to ask questions.

Just because you are out of class, doesn't mean you automatically know what you are doing. You may have a great job that you know exactly how to do, which is great, but not likely. I was placed in a department I knew literally nothing about, which made the first couple of days a real struggle. Telecommuncations is not my forte at all. However, through asking my boss questions when I needed to, I now know a lot more about telecommunications and telephones than most marketing majors probably should. Asking questions doesn't get you participation points, but it may get you brownie points with your manager. 

3) Caffine is acceptable, and sometimes necessary.

Another way an internship is like college is that coffee is almost a daily necessity. The unfortunate part of corporate jobs is that you cannot really pick your hours. At school, my first class is at 10 a.m., and I adore sleeping in till 9 a.m. ...or 9:30 some days. However, at work I was expected to be at my desk by 8 a.m. everyday. Talk about exhaustion. Thankfully, like most college students, the corporate world runs on coffee. If you live in a small town like your CC does and there is no Starbucks (really, it's painful) then making coffee at home is a must. Cambelbak Forge Travel Mugs are perfect for keeping your coffee warm, and are easy to drink with one hand (for those days you are running late)!

4) Be prepared for anything.

Being an intern means that sometimes you get stuck with really tough (or seemingly rediculous) tasks. The day that you wear a dress and heels to go to lunch with a client might also be the day that you are asked to rearrange the supply room. Lifting boxes half your weight above your head? A little challenging. Having to stop every five-minutes because there is hair in your face? Obnoxious. Now I've learned and always make sure to keep a hairtie or Brappz with me. Brappz are perfect because when you are wearing it on your wrist it looks exactly like a bracelet, and they don't lose their stretch like hairties. In less than a minute it can go from a bracelet to a hair accessory to keep those pesky fly-aways out of your face. 

Being a 21 year old female, I also should have learned by now to always keep a spare tampon in my bag for those days I forget. Luckily, Monthly Gift has made my life much easier by saving me from having to remember to add tampons to my shopping list every month. By delivering tampons, pads, liners, and chocolate (the best part) every month, you have one less thing to worry about now! Just remember to throw one or two in your bag, just in case.

5) Network, everyday!

The people you are working with have probably been working in the same department, with the same group of people for years. Interns are fresh meat. Okay, to nicely put it, you are new and mysterious. Generally, people love hearing about your experiences and love sharing their advice and experiences. A lot of the people I was working with were parents or relatives of people I went to high school with. It is nice getting to see what people are up to, who you lost touch with, and who can help you get a better job in the future! 

6) Make sure to relax.

Unfortunately, summer doesn't go on forever. Before you know it you will be packing up to head back to Indiana, maybe for the last time. Working and making money are both important things, but you still need to make sure you take some time to relax and have some fun. It is summer break after all. Conside taking a road trip to get away for a weekend, head to a big city, a concert, or the beach! Spots Travel is a great mobile app that specializes in finding affordable lodging for college students. Catch up with some of your old high school friends, college friends, or co-workers and head out on an adventure!

While you are packing for your trip, make sure to pack all your essentials, including Pure Silk Shaving Cream. When you're dressed business professional every day, it is sometimes easy to forget to shave every time you need to, since your legs are always covered. 

 

Enjoy your summer, and we'll see you in the Fall collegiettes!