Being an intern isn’t easy. You’re fresh out of college, you’re a little bit unsure of yourself and unfortunately, you’re probably not even getting paid (at least not a lot).
Trust me, I know, I’ve been there. When I finished my degree in Journalism I hopped straight into a full-time 9-6 internship at a Dublin media company with no clue about the working world. Through a few stumbles, some laughs and a hell of a lot of hard work I managed to land myself a permanent roll.
Here are a few nuggets of wisdom that I picked up along the way. If I can do it, anyone can.
Ask, ask and ask again
You’re an intern, you’re not supposed to know everything already. When I started out after college I was almost afraid to admit that I didn’t know how to do certain tasks or had no idea what COB meant (It’s Close of Business by the way). Asking questions shows that you’re interested which creates a good impression in the long run.
Don’t presume that your work is excellent. Request feedback to make sure you are completing your tasks correctly and to find out the areas where you need to improve. These feedback sessions will also help you to gauge the likelihood of securing a full-time job.
Be on time
For everything. Arrive for work on time, go to meetings on time, finish assignments on time, you get the general gist. Tardiness can appear rude. If you have a genuine excuse or do not have enough time to complete a task then let your supervisor know well in advance.
Don’t sit around
Most interns are thrown in at the deep end. If you find yourself sitting at your desk with nothing to do, find something ASAP! Ask the people around you if they need help with anything, do some research on the company or offer to get involved with a new project.Get involved in the company culture
Show that you are truly a part of the team by throwing yourself into company life. That means spending the odd lunch with your co-workers and getting involved in extra-curricular activities like tag rugby or after work yoga. You never know, you might just make a few new friends.
Sweat the small stuff
As an intern, you probably will be given some tedious tasks to complete. Tackle all these little menial jobs with enthusiasm and care. Employers want to see that you’re committed to helping in whatever way you can. You don’t want to seem entitled or unwilling to help.
One of the best ways to show a company that you want to be part of their team is to find a problem within the business and present a solution. This is a great way to show them that you’re proactive and you care about the company’s progress.Bring a new organisation system or social media plan to your bosses’ attention and they will be very impressed indeed.
Make it very clear that you are grateful for this opportunity. Remember, internships can be hard to come by and you’re lucky to have been given this chance. Talk positively about the company and make sure people know that you are keen to be kept on as a full-time member of staff. A nice thank you card and a few treats for the people in the office always goes down well too.