Like many of my college colleagues, I am about to complete my summer internship. This was in place of a class to help me graduate on time with all of my majors and honors as well as to gain a priceless experience. There are a lot of things I learned from this experience and not all of them came at the time my internship began, some were before. I want to recommend doing an internship for anyone, I know a few people that realized during their internship that their dream job was incorrect. I did not experience that but it has allowed me to understand more about what I would like to do when I graduate in May as well as just what the work force is really like right now. Also, this is something you can put on your resume and get class credit for, you cannot put a class on your resume and you also cannot 100% experience the workplace in a classroom. Having the structure of a class yet in a workplace also can help calm your nerves a little.
First, the application process. This was honestly a good taste of what it will probably be like when I am applying for jobs. I was not able to get really any that I was super excited for, I received the silent treatment after a phone interview or also the actual rejection email. I knew this was a huge possibility but when it got down to the wire I realized that I may have to just take a summer class, or stay around campus over the summer. Finally I was able to land an internship through my connections, was not my dream position but I definitely think it really was for the best.
My internship dealt with public relations, this is not my track within communications but I really wanted any office experience and this seemed to fit my needs. I was extremely nervous and this is where it being for the best comes in. The supervisor I worked under I knew for a couple years for my involvement on campus, I was extremely comfortable with her and having a face I know was really helpful. I know that you cannot always know someone at your internship but do not rule things out! I feel like it just helped because we could have conversations about other things that helped calm me down. Though this does also provide its challenges. Depending on who you know you may feel more pressure, this was not my case but definitely a possibility. The thing I actually did run into is making sure I was always professional. Since I knew my supervisor in a less professional manner I felt as though sometimes I would be able to joke and tell her things I probably would not tell a supervisor that I just met. I feel that I sometimes was too comfortable, the important thing I needed to keep in mind is that my supervisor was going to grade me. So there really are pros and cons to knowing someone at your internship my best suggestion would be, have a friend in your internship having a friendly face but not a supervisor will hopefully make you successful!
Don't be afraid to ask questions! I always ask questions and triple check on things, your supervisor wants you to do your task correctly so they do not mind when you ask a question. It is way easier to double check then to redo something. There are people there to help teach you. You have most likely never done the majority of the things they are probably asking you to do - and they know that! They are there to help teach you.Also, they sometimes forget that you do not know everything so they will sometimes use acronyms or words that mean certain things in that field. Do not be shy to ask, trying to figure it out on your own probably will take longer and may not turn out properly. Looking things up if you are certain you did it before or that you can find it is never a bad thing but for complete certainty, it is never a bad thing to ask!
Don't be afraid to make mistakes! Don't go around doing everything wrong but if an accident happens that is okay. Again they know that you are new to this environment and the work that you are doing so it is bound to happen. Also, it probably is not as big of a deal as you think. Telling them sooner rather than later is also probably best. Hopefully, they told you some horrific stories during your training so you know you are not the worst intern they have ever had.
All in all I think a summer internship or just an internship in general is a great experience. You learn how you work in an office setting, you learn what it is like to be in an office setting. You also learn whether or not the job you thought you wanted is the one for you! It is a great way to test out your skills and gain some new ones!