Internships 101
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When it comes to thinking about summer, what comes to most peoples’ minds is relaxation and spending time outdoors in order to soak up as much vitamin D as possible.

For college students, summer is a time for freedom. No more classes or cramming for exams, unless you are one of the ones blessed with taking a summer course or two. Regardless of whether you have classes or not, summer is still a more laid back environment that offers down time to accomplish things on your to-do list.

Professional field experience is a required class for most degree programs at Michigan State University. While internships can sometimes be incredibly difficult to get, or seem like a burden, they are actually one of the most valuable experiences that you will have during your college career.

Internships offer real-life learning experiences, unlike the learning that goes on in a classroom. They can teach you responsibility, what your duties might consist of in your future career and they are also great stepping stones to put on your resume so one day you can land your dream job.

As I am currently fulfilling my internship requirement, this summer  at a public relations firm, I have 10 tips to offer for anyone who is looking for an internship or who has never been an intern.

1. Know the company like the back of your hand. During your interview, make sure you are able to clearly explain everything you know about the company.

2. Ask at least one really good question. Employers prefer interactive interviews, so be prepared to ask at least one good question. This will show your interest in the position and the company.

3. Have a good explanation for why you want to intern at the desired company. This relates back to doing your research on the company prior to your interview. You need to know a significant amount about the company in order to determine if you really want to work there; then, be able to prove that to the employers.

4. Dress well. Depending on the company and if it’s business casual attire, dress in clothes that portray a positive, professional image. You can never go wrong with black pants and a nice collared shirt. Try to limit the amount of eye-catching prints and bright colors you wear to the office.

5. Wear flats. Your feet will start to ache half-way through your day if you choose to wear heels. Flats are more comfortable and still pull an outfit together just as well as heels do.

6. Be on time. This does not just go for your first day, but for every day. Try to be at least five or 10 minutes early. This will alleviate any stress caused by traffic or any other issue that may arise on your commute to work. It will also impress your employers.

7. Ask questions. Especially during the first week of your internship, it’s important to ask questions. Learning how the office runs can be confusing and scary and you don’t want to feel awful because you messed up a project due to not asking enough questions. Asking questions also shows your interest in learning, which is another way to impress your employers.

8. Stay focused. Don’t zone out at your desk or get caught scrolling through Instagram on your phone. They hired you for a reason, so don’t make them doubt your commitment  or skills.

9. Ask for more work. If you finish your assigned task and have nothing else lined up to work on, ask someone in the office if they have anything they need help with. Staying busy is good.

10. Converse with your co-workers. The work day will go by much easier if you are able to spark a conversation with someone and it’s also a good way to make some new friends.

Whether you choose to use some of these tips or not, your internship is bound to be an amazing learning experience! Good luck!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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