The topic of interning divides people straight down the middle. Half are all for it and can totally see the benefits, the other compare it to slave labour…personally I’m with the first group. Now everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but if you are in the second group and can’t be bothered to read up on the history of slavey, try watching Devil Wears Prada and compare it to 12 Years A Slave…you’ll probably notice a difference!
For me, interning is a way to try out the industries I think I want to be in without any high commitment, it’s also a whole lot cheaper than a degree is in the UK these days and means I meet some great people who can tell me what the job is all about. Now you know my view, and you probably have your own. Whether you’re a lover or hater, here are 5 live lessons I’ve learned from interning:
#1 Say yes.
I’ve heard of people refusing to do tasks because they think it’s beneath them as interns. Yeah, seriously. Nobody should spend their whole internship photocopying, but you’re getting taught the trade and should accept that some boring stuff will be a part of the package. Saying yes to doing a little extra scanning to help out a senior member of staff could lead to you getting an extra ticket to a fun event, and will never go unnoticed.
#2 Confidence is key.
Being a wallflower is fine, when you’ve got 2-4 weeks to make an impression however you need to out any insecurities to bed. Be confident, out your hand up for tasks, shout out if you have an idea! Having a little confidence is a great thing and can get you noticed when practiced in the right way.
#3 Don’t be afraid to ask.
If you’re not sure, ask. It’s much better to ask how to do something even if you’ve been told once before than suffer in silence or waste your own time by doing it totally wrong. If you’re new to something you will never magically know how to do it on your own and people understand that! Everybody has been the newby!
#4 Make friends.
The people you meet now could be your friends and allies in later life. Interning is a fantastic way to build contacts, whether they go on to be references, colleagues or friends in the future, make the most of them.
#5 Enjoy yourself.
One of the most important life lessons, enjoy the journey! It’s so easy to get caught up in being nervous or worried. Take a step back and remember why you’re here, what you’re learning and where you’re going. Ultimately, we’re here one time only and it;s so important to enjoy the ride.
Interning is a niche vocation and I understand not everybody will be doing it…but aren’t these lessons that can be applied to anything?! Work hard and be kind career girls.
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