Internships aren’t as popular as they once were prior to the 2000’s. Many college juniors/seniors don’t see them as beneficial like they once did. Several are opting out because honestly you still have internships that don’t pay. Or if they’re taking internships, it’s not in the field they genuinely want to work in. But the main questions the millennial age group are wanting to know is if they do an internship, what will they get from it?
You still have some where they just expect you to be an assistant or “do girl, do boy” and you don’t get any real experience (these really do exist still). However if you go to work for a company that will allow you shadow or work in the role you’d desire full-time, you’ll get a lot from it. Not only experience, that’s a given but you have the chance to network. You’ll meet so many people who really want to help you even after your internship is done. I know a lot of times people tell you to keep in contact and reach out when you need them but there are some that mean it.
You’ll have the opportunity to build a portfolio. That’s the equivalent of showing your work to future employers. Companies love experience but they also like to see what you’ve done. Anyone can tell what they’ve done but when they can see it, it goes a long way. You’ll have that. Most importantly, you may get offered a full-time position if you’re close to your graduation date. That’s a plus. That position you’re interning in may just be open and they’re just auditioning someone to fill it. You never know.
I also suggest checking for winter internships. There are some companies that have them. Just in case you don’t want to spend your summer in the office working. Be sure to inquire about what you’ll be doing specifically. See if they’ll even email your role to you so you know before you agree to take it. That way you have it in writing that what you accepted over the phone or in person is in writing. I know my first school stint I didn’t see many people doing internships but because of companies like T-Mobile, Google, Amazon and others have made them more beneficial and many paid. Definitely check into it before graduation to have a resume ready with “experience” that many jobs are requiring.
Day four was pretty easy going. I mastered all of the systems needed to complete my daily task. I also decided to get ahead of the game and start on a project for my internship. I had a lot of reading to do today. Read up on a few articles that will help me be successful in my future career in marketing. Not a lot today but I’m excited for my workload to pick up. I can tell in this role I’ll learn a lot! My team is extremely helpful and really eager to help me succeed. I can honestly say I’ve worked a lot of places and never had an entire team be concerned with my growth. It’s a nice feeling.
Intern Tip Four: Stay ahead of the game. If you know what the overall goal is for your internship or the main project they want you to work on, get ahead of them and start working towards it. That way when they bring it up you’re already on it.
The week is over and I’m excited. It was a long week due to the fact I had a long travel day, work the next day and have been non-stop ever since. Day three was pretty serious for me. I had more of an opportunity to learn the systems I’d be working with for the next three months and get a few things accomplished on my own. It was a pretty slow day which because of the holiday weekend most attempted to get all of their work done yesterday. I’m excited that I learned smart sheet and kenexa today! I wanted to learn at least two systems before the new work week. I’m anxious about the upcoming week because I should get the real workload at this point! Definitely come back Tuesday (holiday Monday so we’re closed!) for another update!
Intern Tip Three: Your managers will have meetings with you daily when you first start and you want to not only take notes but you also want to pay attention to how they maneuver through the systems if you’re in the office with them. Since my team for the most part works remotely, I watched a lot of videos on the systems they told me I would use and I also created mock accounts for some of the systems so I can get hands on practice before I begin using everything for work. Don’t waste time because the first week or two you may not have a lot of work but it’s the perfect opportunity to practice your skill set before it matters.
With day two I wanted to take the opportunity to examine the culture around me. I’m in a new state and everything is different! Good but different! It’s important to grasp an understanding (or attempt to) of the people who you’ll be working with because depending on how long your internship is you’ll be working with them a few months. You also want to get an understanding of the people outside of your work space. Today I was more observant of how people dressed and conversations that take place. I also paid more attention to how people work also. You know things like seeing if they prefer it to be quiet as they work or do they like to talk while they work.
You know how certain things seem super simple and somewhat common sense but it’s not… I work for this company already but in my office it’s extremely different. The atmosphere is more energized and noisy due to the need of making sure everyone is in a fun atmosphere due to the type of work we do. So for me coming to the corporate side I had to step back to see if the experience would be the same. Things I noticed is no one plays music throughout the day unlike in the call center it’s blasting normally. For the most part everyone is focused on their task and there’s not much talking outside of quick conversations then back to work.
With me being from the south, I tend to be really polite and friendly. I took time today to pay attention to what’s friendly to them and what may be strange to them. I naturally say thank you every time someone does something and I speak to you a million times if you walk by me out of habit. I also smile a lot which can be really creepy. That’s part of my culture but here people don’t operate that way and it’s nothing to take offense to because that’s not normal for them. I learned that recently in one of my classes that you can’t assume people are being rude considering some people will think you’re just overdoing it. So pay attention to everything that happens around you until you feel comfortable enough to say you understand it. Learn the culture of the company and also if you’re in another part of the world, like myself, pay attention to how people in passing interact. It’s important to be you but at the same time understand that they’re just being them too.
Intern Tip Day Two: If you’re in a new state, country or city explore their main attractions and also your surroundings. Find out where the grocery stores are, city transportation and restaurants. Research online and get out there (safely and daylight until you feel comfortable) and learn about your “temporary home”.
Interning is a great opportunity to get your feet wet in the field you desire to have a career in. I’m Jessica and I’m embarking on a new journey at the age of 29 as an intern. I work full time but for the summer my job is on hold while I participate in an internship with my company! Today was day one and as with any new opportunity, it was pretty exciting. I had the opportunity to meet the leadership team and also participate in a team builder with my new crew.
When I first got into the building there was a meet and greet. They had a breakfast bar and it was an opportunity to mingle with peers who would go through this journey with me. The leaders provided a quick tour of the building(s) and explained how to access anything within my limits. The first day is always your easiest day with any job. Lot of training, getting to know your coworkers and getting you accumulated before the work starts. I’m extremely excited about tomorrow as I’ll have the opportunity to sit in on meetings. So follow me on this journey as I live through it. I know there will be some exciting times that are rewarding and some will be challenging because a challenge is an opportunity for growth! Thank you for reading!
Intern Tip Day One: Never overdo your makeup or attire. Keep it simple. Your first day you want to see what the culture is like within the company. Ladies a nice dress, blouse, blazer or skirt set goes a long way. No super high heels because you may be subjected to a lot of walking! Men it’s pretty simple, a nice suit or button up shirt with a nice pair of slacks will make you look GQ ready! Don’t overdo on the makeup! Can’t stress it enough, you don’t want to be too “beat” with your face. Unless you’re working at Mac Cosmetics then go all out.