A Summer Intern's Internship Survival Guide
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Politics and Activism

A Summer Intern's Internship Survival Guide

New beginnings can be a time of excitement, but just make sure to channel all that excitement into making this the best experience it can be.

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A Summer Intern's Internship Survival Guide

With summer quickly approaching, many college kids are either beginning summer jobs, internships or maybe both. Having held a Congressional internship last summer, and embarking on an internship in the law field this summer, I kind of consider myself "all knowing" about all things internships (read: not really, but it sounds nice, doesn't it?). Being an intern is about learning; it's about making mistakes and learning what you did wrong, and working at it until you achieve. I, myself, have made mistakes and learned from them, but I have also achieved so much through past internships as well. I've watched other interns succeed, and when they fail ... well, I've learned from that, too. So from me to you, here are the things I am reminding myself, and I guess you too, of as we embark on our internships this summer. Let's call this, "The dos and don'ts of Summer Interning," or rather, "A Summer Intern's Internship Survival Guide."

1. Make sure the internship you apply for is beneficial towards your eventual career.

Basically, don’t pick to intern for something that doesn’t benefit you in the long run. This could mean “benefit” in terms of a career, but even if you pick an internship within your career field, if you’re not interested in what you’re doing at the internship you’re not learning, and therefore not benefiting.

2. Make sure you’re okay with the hours.

Some internship may be more demanding than others, and that is something to take into consideration when deciding on an internship. Considering that some are unpaid, conflict with a paid job you also work could be a deciding factor on whether or not you take the internship. Talk with your boss prior to definitively accepting the internship to ensure the hours fit your schedule, or that they are flexible enough to work with another schedule.

3. Acknowledge the location of the internship prior to accepting.

If you know you’re an outdoorsy person, and the thought of spending x amount of hours indoors each week during the summer is unfathomable, don’t take an internship indoors. The last thing you want to do is accept an internship, and three weeks in decide it isn’t for you due to location, or hourly commitment.

4. Be prepared for your internship everyday that you’re supposed to be there.

This could mean a variety of things ranging from attending outside events to doing outside research, depending on the specific internship and its requirements. For the most part though this means arriving on time, being present the entire time you’re asked to be there, and doing the work that is assigned to you.

5. Take full advantage of your internship opportunity.

Network, network, network. So much of life is dependent on who you know, and you never know where a connection may lead. It could make the difference it what people consider you for interviews, and even what job opportunities you wind up having.

6. Have set goals for your internship.

Some are less hands on, while some require more work. For example, if you are looking to work an internship that deals with public cases, prior to accepting the internship you should ensure that your days will not be spent at a desk.

7. Communicate with your boss, and be willing to work hard.

Nothing worth having ever comes easy.

8. Use your time wisely.

Don’t sit idle at your internship because you think you can get away with doing so. Make sure to offer your help in whatever opportunities present themselves; the more useful you are the better it is for you, and the more remembered you’ll be.

9. Be willing to learn.

An internship has the opportunity to be an amazing experience for you if you use your time wisely. It is an experience that offers a wide range of knowledge from people with experience in the field, and can open your eyes to what exactly a career in said field might be like. Don’t waste time at your internship just trying to get it done; take full advantage of everything it offers.

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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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