Last week you learned about how to create a great intern experience for your fledgling associate who sought out your guidance-what an honor! This week, hear from one of our own, Kristen Bova, an associate from last semester whose no-nonsense demeanor and awesome copyrighting skills caught the attention of 834. Even though she didn’t attend school in this area, or event the STATE she was NOT going to get overshadowed by any of the locals! Kristen enlightens us on the 8 important lessons one gains from being an intern, 3 social sites that every intern should know/understand/be using every day, and knocks out 4 tips to stand out as someone whom people would want to hire in 834′s Associate blog feature.
There are many different aspects to your average internship. We do everything from pouring a little coffee, to writing a blog about how to save our planet. While every internship varies there are some lessons that I learned here that are invaluable to any intern. People do not get their dream jobs by wishing for them hard enough (okay maybe some do, but they are just lucky, and it is not realistic). Dreams are great to have, but they only get you so far in life. These lessons are what come after; they are the steps you take to achieve those dreams. Get to work!
8 Important Lessons
Lesson 1- Work hard.
So this may seem obvious, but really you have to commit yourself to your work and be willing to go above and beyond. It’s not about giving 100%, it’s about giving 110%. You have to go above and beyond, because if you do not, someone else will.
Lesson 2- It’s called the ‘real world’ for a reason- you do not always get a thank you or a trophy when you succeed.
We are not young kids anymore where you get a trophy just for showing up. You will have to work hard, and often you will have to do it without a thank you or any show of appreciation. Know that and do not be surprised when it happens. It’s not because you are not appreciated, but in the world people do not always remember to thank you or pat you on the back.
Lesson 3- Sacrifice is part of life.
This is a hard one. Being in the working world part of what you must face is that you will miss things. You will miss time with your family, parties, and sleep. A strong commitment to your job, and success within that job often requires a great deal of sacrifice in your personal life, whether you are an executive or an intern. People do not become successful by putting in the most minimal amount of work possible.
Lesson 4- You will have to do things you do not want to do-not just as an intern.
This is really one of those “life” statements. There are so many things people do not want do, ranging from laundry to taxes. Well, the same is true in the workplace. As an intern, there are a variety tasks we take on, whether it’s dishes, picking up something for a client, research, or blog writing. However, doing the undesirable does not end, as an intern, and it would be naïve to think so. To be a functioning adult, one must know and understand this.
Lesson 5- Life is a learning experience. It never ends.
Being an intern essentially puts you into a major learning position. You spend your days trying to figure out what is going on, while this can be difficult and frustrating at times, it is necessary. Every time you learn how to do something that skill helps you understand the next thing. Internships really do prepare you to become employees. However, learning never ends. Once your internship is over, the learning will continue because you cannot possibly learn all you need to in just a few months.
Lesson 6- Be proactive about your future.
When your internship ends, what’s next? You need to self-advocate. Whether you want to attain a position within the company you interned for, or you want to move on to something new, you are the one who has to make sure what you want happens. It is important to learn this lesson now, or people will take advantage of you in the future if it has not happened already. Be selfish in this respect, and look out for your best interests, because others will not.
Lesson 7-Learn to use the tools you have- to figure it out on you own.
Questions are a great thing. Also, guidance is very important, but sometimes you just have to figure out things on your own, even when what you’re given is minimal at best. This is also a hard lesson, but it is one that will help you in the future. People like to see that you are not just proactive about job-hunting, but that you are a self-starter and proficient about being able to figure out how to do something you have never done before.
Lesson 8- Stand up for yourself.
Like the first lesson, this may seem obvious, but you have to make sure you do not get trampled on in the working world. It does happen, easily and often. Just because you’re an intern does not mean people can walk all over you. Learn this lesson now, rather than learn it later after you have cried a million times and been denied the respect you deserve.
3 Social Sites You Should Know How To Use
1) Twitter and Facebook (from a business aspect, not JUST your own point of view or personal page)
2) Hootsuite-How else will you manage all those Facebook and Twitter accounts?
3) LinkedIn-Network, network, network.
4 Ways to Get Hired
1) Grow up! We are not students anymore. This one hangs out with “fake it till ya make it.”
2) Don’t be too proud. Be humble, confident, and malleable.
3) Advocate for your future. State what you want to do, ask for opportunities, and stay hungry.
4) Give unconditionally. Even when it seems you are not “getting much.” Keep giving, it will come back to you.