By now many of us are quickly approaching the halfway point of our summer internships–an appropriate time to look back at what we’ve learned in the past five weeks and to look ahead to what we want to accomplish before the end of August. To give some guidance as to how to make the most out of these ten weeks, look no further than HC 2010 grad Christine Giamattei whose blog is a great look into young professional life!
Giamattei’s tips on succeeding at your summer internship are sure to win you some positive evaluations from your managers and ensure you get the most out of your experience. Enjoy!
It’s internship season in New York City! This year’s best and brightest college kids have made their way to the Big Apple and are flooding the subways, sidewalks, and standard intern bars like Turtle Bay and The Saloon.
These days, securing an internship and having a successful summer in an office environment is an INDISPENSABLE aspect of a resume and college career. An internship will not only allow you to explore potential careers and hone organization, time management, and interpersonal skills, but will give you a competitive edge when applying for real deal jobs senior year. Potential employers love college kids with valuable experience, and it gives you a lot to talk about on a resume, cover letter, phone chat, and in-person interview.
|look this cool and confident at your internship | via|
Though I am no expert on internships, I did have two successful internship experiences in NYC in 2008 and 2009 (editor’s note: read about Giamattei’s SIP experience here!) and as a result was confident when applying for jobs, securing one right before graduation last year. There are two interns in my office this year… and it is so strange to be on the other side, giving them assignments and managing their projects.
It has given me a whole new perspective on internships… and especially how to stand out at your internship. Because… if you go through the trials of finding an internship, interviewing, spending some $$$ to live and work in a city for the summer, and commuting to and from your internship each day… you might as well give it all you’ve got. And honestly, it will not work to your advantage unless you do it right.
So from my own time as a little intern in NYC… to now… with my own interns (uh, since when did I kindasorta grow up?)… here’s my top 5.
1) Do It Right the First Time. Double- and triple-check your work. Even if it’s just sending a simple e-mail to your supervisor. Even if it means taking a little extra time to turn something in. Follow directions to a T, reread what you wrote for correct grammar and punctuation, keep it as organized and concise as possible. If you’re not sure about something, it does not hurt to ask before you submit the work for review.
2) Write Well. I work in Marketing and Public Relations, so this is a skill that is extremely important to this industry… but it certainly goes a long way in other industries as well. Believe me, people will quickly notice if you are a good writer… and just as quickly realize if you do not take it seriously.
3) Volunteer For More Projects. It looks incredibly impressive and it will help you grow. Summer interns are a blessing for offices everywhere. If your supervisor seems stressed, offer to chip in and take some of the burden off of him or her. Even if that means working while commuting, coming into the office early, and leaving late. Of course, don’t get over-ambitious… but tap into those time management skills to get it all done!
4) Smile and Be Cheery. No one wants a slug for an intern! We want upbeat, positive college kids who are excited about the tasks they are given, no matter how small (and I promise even the stuff that seems “small” is big).
5) Share Your Ideas. Seriously! Speak up. The twenty-something generation is where it’s at. Everyday we move culture by thinking creatively, sharing our ideas, and working to put ideas into action. Just look at Mark Zuckerberg or David Karp, the founder of Tumblr. It may seem intimidating and your idea may be shut down or shelved… but you will be remembered for sharing your passions and insights.