The end of May marks the unofficial start of Summer and the official start of intern season.
Next week, college students from around the country will gather in the company’s auditorium for orientation. They will look at each other, make silent judgements, and wonder which one of them will end up with a job offer by the end of Summer. The intern pool is always diverse. There are those who look like they already belong in the corporate world, there are those who would much rather spend their summer hammered at the beach, and there are those who are only there because their mommy and daddy works for the company. Last year I learned that not everyone survives to the end as a handful dropped out of the program shortly after starting. Why did they drop out? I have no idea.
Well, if you’re embarking on an internship soon, here are some tips of my own and a wealth of good information I came across in a Life Pro Tips post from Reddit.
Here are a few of my tips for interns:
- Do say hello and meet as many people as you can, even if they are not in your department. You’ll be amazed at how many people you’ll get to know in a three month span.
- You may be stuck with boring tasks, but look for opportunities of improvement and bring them up with your manager. Sometimes, just because something has been done the same way for years doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.
- Don’t spend too much time on your phone or computer looking at social media, surfing the Internet texting/instant messaging. If you do, people will notice and it will reflect poorly on you and your manager.
- Don’t become Facebook/Instagram, or other type of social media “Friends” with coworkers. Friend other interns once the internship ends.
- Don’t try to part with company information. That means don’t email files to your personal email account or copy them to memory card/flash drives. IT Security will know.
- Do work hard and show you want to be there.
Internship’s Do’s and Don’ts via Reddit’s Life Pro Tips: Here are my favorites.
- If you run into a problem, do try to figure it out before asking for help.
- Do proofread and check your work.
- Do write down in a journal of what went well, what did not go well, lessons learned, and any other advice from coworkers and your manager.
- Do be punctual and if you are going to be late, notify your manager.
- Do adhere to the dress code and be well groomed. Dressing youthful is fine. Dressing creative is fine (in creative/artsy/liberal industries). Guys and girls, don’t dress like you’re going out to a club and show too much skin.
- D0 treat the support staff as human beings. They can be your guides to everything office related, from where the good stationary is hidden, to the mysterious schedules kept by elusive analysts or your busy boss.
- Do eat lunch with your co-workers and form relationships, you need to create advocates for you who will help review your performance and determine if you will be offered a return position.
- Do own up to your mistakes, don’t blame others.
- Don’t ever brag, don’t ever be cocky. Even if someone is egging you on.
- Don’t talk about your personal life with your coworkers.
- Don’t be “that intern.” The one who goes into work hungover and telling everyone what a crazy night it was.
- Don’t write anything in email you wouldn’t want your boss to see. Be wary of curse words and even abbreviations like WTF.
- Don’t talk about confidential work material outside of the office. If someone from work hears you, you definitely could get fired.
- Don’t screw up.
The original Reddit post is here.