Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How To Succeed At Your Summer Internship

...advice from a girl who's had many.

Internships are great.  I've interned for two summers at a State Senator's office, a summer at CBS Radio, a summer with my county's Executive, and in a marketing department for a international company.  So saying I have internship experience is an understatement. 

Many internships are either offered for college credit, or just simply the experience.  Let me tell you, never turn down a great opportunity just because it's unpaid.  I graduated from college in 2010, worked for my sorority for 9 months, then became unemployed.  I interviewed for an unpaid internship with a County Executive, got the position, worked for almost 2 months without pay, and just this week they offered me a job!  See, hard work does pay off!

Here are some great tips I've picked up along the way:

1.  Make connections with everyone you meet, not just the people in your office.  A huge part of interning is the networking! 
2.  Dress to impress, it makes you look like you know what you're doing!
3.  Ask for work, a lot of offices don't have interns all year round, so come summer time they might forget you're there to help out!  Plus it shows that your extremely dedicated.
4.  Triple check your work, there's nothing worse that rushing on an assignment and turning it in with mistakes, especially if you're not overloaded with work.  If you have access to a printer, print a copy for your own file.  That way if your supervisor makes changes you can review and learn tips for next time!
5.  Make them aware that you would love to work for the company, let me repeat "make them aware that you would LOVE to work for the company."  If you don't speak up, how are they supposed to know you're even interested in furthering your career within the organization?  Trust me, employeers would rather hire people they already have a feel for.
6.  Don't complain, to anyone!  Even if you think you've made a friend within your officer, never complain to them, whether it's about work, personal life, etc.  Word can spread quick and you don't want to be known as a complainer.
7.  Speak up!  Don't be afraid to let people know you're thinking.  Any bit of creativity helps... even from the intern.
8.  Volunteer, whether it's for an assignment, event, to tag along to a meeting, or errands.  If you do it enough you will get noticed, in a good way.
9.  Facebook and Twitter is a no-no, unless you're doing social media for the company.  If that's the case, make sure you're logged in with their name and password.
10.  SMILE, it does you wonders.

Remember to start researching early for that dream internship--a lot of companies try to interview by March or April.  Research the company, prepare and practice.  Anything you put your mind to you can acheive! 

Want other tips and advice?  Let me know, I'd be happy to help!

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