What Internships Teach Us

Having an internship is an excellent way to network, grow as a professional, and figure out what you would like to do as a career after graduation. Internships can teach us so much more about the industry we want to work in more than what a classroom does because they are hands-on and supposed to be more like real life. If you have made it half-way through your internship, you have definitely learned these things about your workplace. Some of these things we learn will help us for the rest of our professional lives while other things will be things we laugh at later on.

How to manage the technology they use.

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From the dreaded copier machine to the email services to the coffee machine, there is a definite learning curve of the technology each company to function. It is your job to learn by trial and error to figure out this technology. If you haven't figured it out yet, let's hope you get it by the end of your internship.

 You feel like a million bucks when you get your pay check (if you get paid.)

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If you are fortunate to get a paid internship, when you get your first paycheck you feel like you are rolling in the dough. You want to buy all the things and you understand the true happiness money can give you.

But with great power comes great responsibility.

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After you spend your paycheck on things you don't really need, you find out the hard way that you actually have to be responsible with your money. You know paying bills and saving money for the future is kind of a big deal. Going out to eat is a treat now, not a necessity.

Who to go to for work gossip.

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You may only be a few weeks into your internship, but you can always find out the tea of what is really going on the office. Whether is it by the water cooler or people talk around the cubicles. Office gossip is some of the best gossip.

You have an early bedtime now.

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Back in the good old days (a month ago) you could stay up all night and be okay. After working full time, you realize that staying up till 10 o'clock is an actual challenge. Good luck trying to watch a movie without dozing off.

Honestly, being an intern is weird.

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You are considered an adult with responsibilities but still not confused about tasks you are given. You also don't know a lot of people in the office, but it seems like everyone knows you because of you being the new kid on the block.

Vacation days are limited.

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As you drive past your local community pools or water parks, you often think about the time when you had so much more free time. Being an intern, you have limited or if any vacation days because you are only working there for a short amount of time. Hopefully, you work for a boss who is flexible and understanding about how hectic summer can be.

You experience so much networking.

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One of the best things about internships is that it opens doors to meet people from all of ages and stages in their careers. They can help you grow as a professional and just a person in general. Finding connections and mentors early on in your career can help you succeed long-term. They always say, "it's who you know, not what you know."

You eat practically all the time.

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From retirement parties to going to lunch meetings, there is usually food always around somewhere somehow. At first, you dive in face first enjoying all the food until your pants get a little tighter than they did at the beginning of the summer. We always talk about the Freshman 15, but let's talk about the Intern 10.

That satisfaction of completing your to-do lists.

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Being an intern means you get several projects throughout the summer to help your company succeed. One of the best feelings is finishing one of your tasks and projects. Honestly, it is one of the most satisfying feelings ever.

Through all the stress and learning curves, having an internship can bring, those 12-weeks can be the best weeks of our lives personally and professionally. They help us realize what we do and don't want to do as careers while we test the waters of different companies. Here is to the rest of our internships, that we can fight the Intern 10 and leave the company better off than when we started.

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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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