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Whether you’re working in an office or shadowing someone on the job, internships are a seemingly established college student practice as they are a great way to gain professional experience in a career path that may interest you.  This summer, I jumped on the bandwagon and experienced my first full-time internship.  After adjusting to the 6 a.m. wake-up, 9-5 work hours, and long public transit-filled commute, I can say that I successfully completed my first ‘real world’ job and picked up a few tips along the way.

9.1.Slide

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Here are my top 10 takeaways that you can learn from a summer internship:

1) Be on time

One of my old coaches always used to say, ‘If you aren’t 5 minutes early, you’re late.’  Being on time shows a boss that you are responsible, dependable, and that you care – all of which are important qualities for developing your professional reputation.

2) Meet everyone

Use the opportunity you have to develop your professional network.  You never know who will be able to help you in the future, whether it’s as simple as helping you with a technical computer fix or connecting you to a future job.  Take some time to walk around the office and introduce yourself to your fellow co-workers.

3) Ask questions

The purpose of an internship is to learn more about a specific career path.  Take advantage of the experienced professionals you have working around you and don’t be afraid to ask for their opinions and advice.

4) Don’t skip your lunch break

Studies show that taking a break from work is a proven way to sustain energy levels and concentration for the duration of the day.  Lunch is the perfect time to refuel and re-energize.

5) Go to bed early

There’s nothing worse for a boss than to have an inconvenient, zombie of an employee.  And I know that when I’m sleep-deprived I don’t feel too great either.  Making sure that you get the right, quality amount of sleep each night is something very easy and within your control to ensure that you will be a productive worker.

6) Learn Microsoft

Word.  Excel.  Powerpoint.  Access.  I don’t know a day that went by when I wasn’t using one of these programs to complete assigned projects.

7) Ask ‘what’s next?’

Some of the best and most memorable interns are those who show efficiency in completing tasks and take an initiative in the work that they are doing.

8) Follow up

Whether it’s with your supervisor following a task or a new connection made at an event, a quick follow-up email is a simple way to develop your personal brand, be remembered, and expand your network.

If you aren’t five minutes early, you’re late.

9) Connect with your boss

Developing a good relationship with your boss is critical for an enjoyable work experience.  They can serve as a mentor and important connection for promotion, but more importantly, having a relationship that allows you to communicate and be on the same page will make the actual work that much easier.

10) ENJOY COLLEGE

You have the rest of your life to work, climb the corporate ladder and manage real world expectations.  ENJOY THE FOUR YEARS OF COLLEGE YOU HAVE!

 

Krista is a senior at Yale University.  Just a small-town Canadian girl, her biggest passion is, of course hockey, and all sports.  Now, she is pursuing a career in which she can incorporate her passion, as well as her love for people and the media, into her everyday activity

 

 

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