As college students, we’re constantly searching for opportunities that’ll give us good experience in our desired fields and what better way to do that than to get an internship! From personal experience, I know that securing an internship can be difficult, but once you do secure a spot you need to make sure to make the best out of it and make a lasting impression. I’ve had the amazing opportunity of being an intern for a fashion brand for three years and during those years I’ve made memories and connections that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Through this experience, I feel like I have learned enough to compose this list of advice for future or current interns on how to be the best intern possible.
Make your presence known; Speak up!
As an intern sometimes you may be nervous to insert yourself into a conversation or to state an opinion but when appropriate it’s definitely great to show that you are present by speaking up. Your mentor is always there to answer questions if necessary and to guide you through anything. Talking to your mentor and building a good professional relationship will make your internship experience even more special.
Be on time (more like 10 minutes early)
This is SO important! Timeliness is very important in any professional setting because it shows that you respect your mentors’ time and value the time you get to spend with them. If you have to commute a significant distance to get to your internship make sure to plan ahead and give yourself extra time. If taking public transportation always plan accordingly, public transportation can be unreliable sometimes. It’s always better to be early rather than being late. If you have extra time on your hands before your internship consider getting a treat for your mentors or the people in your office (doughnuts are great, everyone loves doughnuts). Little gifts and gestures make us all feel appreciated every now and then :)
Throughout the internship, you may meet other people that work in the same or related field. Take advantage of the people that you meet, who knows if that person can help you secure your next job opportunity! If I feel like I have made a good impression on this person I usually ask if they have social media platforms such as Instagram or LinkedIn so that we can connect and stay in touch. The connections you make through an internship can be very beneficial to you in the future.
Make yourself open and available as much as you can
I know it may be hard to make extra time when being a college student, intern and in some cases also have a job. However, if possible, it’s always a good idea to attend events that your mentors invite you to. Making time out of the designated time that you have at your internship shows that you’re interested and serious about the position. This also gives you time to bond with your mentors and other people that work for the company.
Not to be corny or anything but the biggest piece of advice that I have for all interns is to… BE YOURSELF. I know that sounds very cliche but there’s something unique that we all bring to the table. If you’re passionate and excited about the internship you’ve secured then it should be an enjoyable experience. I know that not every work experience may be the most enjoyable but you should always take everything as a learning experience. I can honestly say that my internship has been one of the best experiences of my life, I look up to my mentor a lot and I’m glad that we have built such an amazing bond. I hope that you use these tips to build long-lasting connections with your mentors as I have :)
Photo by Maria Sepulveda