5 Ways to Survive and Succeed at Your Summer Internship

We all know how stressful the process of applying to internships can be. You spend weeks and even months sending out dozens of resumes, undergoing excruciatingly horrible interviews, and hearing the always awkward “we’ll call you” line before you completely give up hope and imagine living in your parents’ house for the rest of your life.

However, there’s always that one moment when things seem to go your way and you finally get a job! All that time and effort applying to internships can often feel like a job within itself. You get so caught up in the process of applying that when that fateful first day arrives, you are completely unprepared!

Here are some helpful tips to make sure your first day goes smoothly and pain free.

1. Dress professionally

Depending on where you’re working and the type of activities you will be doing, it is important to dress professionally and respectfully. Just remember that it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed! While you may feel like you are playing dress up in a sea of middle-aged people, it is best to be dressed up rather than walking around in jeans and a tee. If you are unsure about the office dress code, look around and observe what others are wearing. For these hot summer months, business casual is the way to go, with a simple summer dress and a pair of heels. And remember girls, always carry a light sweater; it can get cold in your little cubicle.

2. Introduce yourself

Communication and first impressions are important in business environments, so it is crucial that you introduce yourself to everyone you encounter. Offices can be busy and chaotic, and many employees have no idea who is coming in and out, so take the initiative, break out of your shell and introduce yourself to people.

3. Unplug your electronics

While using your cell phone or iPod during class was once a perfectly normal way to pass the time, it is unprofessional in the real world. You are there to work, not to see what level you can reach playing BrickBreaker. So unless it is a slow workday and there’s not much for you to do, put the phone away and don’t forget to put it on silent. While you may love your "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" ringtone, your co-workers (and your boss) most likely won’t.

4. Speak up

It’s OK to have questions or concerns, so don’t be afraid to speak up. You are a student, so they don’t expect you to know everything; even the little stuff can be confusing sometimes. If you are unsure about anything, ask your boss or even other interns for help. This will ultimately allow you to meet new people and help your bosses remember you better.

5. Have fun and learn

And lastly, have fun! While it is important to complete your work and tasks, you also have to enjoy what you’re doing and do it with a positive attitude. So be relaxed and bring your true personality to the table; it will help you communicate and network better. And remember, everything you learned, even the most mundane tasks, will help you when you finally enter the real world!

By: Ariana Philips | Image: Source

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