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6 Essential Tips for Summer Internships

Ah, summer time: so close, yet so far. As visions of beaches, flip-flops, and tan-lines promise to distract even the most studious of Smithies, summer also provides the chance for something away from the beach: internships. Internships are not only an important opportunity to learn more about something you’re interested in, but they are also an essential way to network and even receive potential job offers. This is, of course, no hidden secret as internships are almost the universal choice among Smith students in figuring out how best to spend the summer. Want to make a good impression on your boss? Be the best summer intern? Make the most out of your internship? Read on!
 
 
1. Plan in advance
 
Before confirming you’ll intern for a specific place, make sure your supervisors know what exactly you want to get out of the experience. Sure, you can expect your fair share of menial 
 
office tasks, but you also want to learn something. That’s why you’re doing this thing after all! Plan ahead of time to make the most out of your experience. By sharing with your boss the objectives you hope to gain, you’re making sure the hours spent as an intern don’t go to waste. By the time your first day comes around, both you and your boss should know what is in store. 
 
2. Take the initiative 
 
As an intern, you can probably expect not to sit down for some one-on-one time with the CEO during lunch. However, that’s not to say you can’t network with those around you. If you’re passing an executive in the hallway, introduce yourself. Make connections with other interns. Become familiar with other staff members. 
 
3. Make the most out of it
 
It doesn’t matter if the task you’re working on is highly important or is as simple as restocking pencils: put all your effort in and look at it each assignment as a way to showcase your skills. Doing so demonstrates to those around you that you’re a team player. By completing your work and staying on-task as well as on-time, your help will be appreciated. Make sure to take any chance to learn more: attend meetings, offer to take notes, volunteer for extra assignments. Anything that highlights your initiative and enthusiasm is essential.
 
4. Go above and beyond 
 
Do what no one else wants to do. That’s basically why you’re there in the first place! Any time someone complains (“Oh, I wish this was more organized!”), think of that as an opportunity to show your commitment to the company and start alphabetizing those notes. Don’t wait to hear what your boss wants from you, try to anticipate it ahead of time. For example, if you’re having problems with something and aren’t sure how to go about it, brainstorm possible solutions and present the options to your boss. 
 
5. Keep it Professional
 
Begin the internship with this question in mind: How do I want to be remembered? A successful internship has the potential to result in a future job, so it’s imperative to remain professional. This means no texting or tweeting during work, don’t gossip, refrain from spilling too much personal information, and dress appropriately for the work environment you’re in. 
 
6. Stay in Touch
 
Send a thank-you letter, e-mail even when the internship is over, connect with those from the internship when you’re around the area. Such steps go a long way in making it clear to the company that you are both invested and interested in working with them in the future.
 
Good luck!
Nora Turriago is a sophomore at Smith College, where she studies history and government. She is the News Editor of Her Campus Smith.
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