5 Keys Crush Your Internship
1. Be Social
People want to hire someone who can not only do the job, but someone they also enjoy being around. This is why companies talk so much about “culture” you may be around your teammates more than your family and friends at times. If you could schedule coffee with every manager at your firm over the summer, you’ll be golden. Remember, you have to be able to walk the walk and talk the talk, so always work your tail off and turn in good work too. Whenever they're making the hiring decision or sending in a letter of recommendation, the morning coffee you all had will help set you apart from the other interns and tip the scales in your favor.
2. Remember People are Busy
You probably got your first paycheck from your internship and It's the first time you’re making more money than your Starbucks job in the student union building could pay. And now you probably feel somewhat valued, which isn't a bad thing, but be aware of the fact that the people in your office have more work to do than you can imagine. Considering I was an intern at the company I work for now, I almost cringe at my ignorance of this reality. You might have the expectation of your colleagues to initiate things with you, but please let this serve as a reality check - your success (or lack thereof) in your career will be a direct result of your initiative.
3. Use your Youth
What's a piece of content without a Drake or LeBron reference? One thing these two icons have in common is their passion for mentoring the younger generation. They not only do this because successful people tend to enjoy helping others, but also to learn new things and stay at the top of their game. Nostalgia is a very strong emotion and your presence alone may bring back memories of cherished times in early adulthood and college for your teammates. Who else will tell them what it is like to be a college student during a pandemic, or what it’s like growing up with social media? Who knows, you might even give them insight on the dating apps scene.
4. Ask Questions
When you do not ask questions, your teammates and bosses will perceive that you understand. Remember point number two, people are busy and probably do not know where you are on your developmental track. My major was right in line with my internship, but I still felt like I knew nothing. This is the reality for the majority of interns. Internships are a place for you to explore and learn the field. Questions are always a good thing because it shows you are paying attention. Don’t just ask though, take the initiative to explore possible solutions. You probably noticed that the job description mentioned wanting a “self-starter.” they want someone who will identify the issue and investigate the issue before asking the question. The questions you ask in your internship will go further than the work you turned in. Even on a relational level, the people you enjoy the most probably ask the most thoughtful questions about you, and you appreciate it because it shows their attention to detail, of you.
5. Get a Mentor
Last but not least, ask someone to mentor you. Once again, point number two is key when considering who this person will be. Not only will your mentor give you valuable career and life advice, but in the scenario the company cannot make an offer to you because of timing or something outside of your control like their budget or capacity, you’ll realize this individual will likely have connections that will go beyond a letter of recommendation from your college professor. To not make the conversation awkward, I would suggest doing research on the individuals’ accomplishments and mentioned how their successes go in line with what you are trying to accomplish. This shows you have vision, you’re not looking to waste their time, and if they cannot accommodate that time commitment, they will more than likely know who to connect you with.
My DJ mentor told me, whenever you’re DJ’ing no one will remember your whole set list, nor will they remember every mix and transition. But they will remember how they felt, your managers will always remember how you made them, and the rest of the team feel. Good luck. Take this information and crush that internship.