The Ideal Intern: What To Know

Now that you have successfully networked, interview-proofed your social media platforms and polished up your resume, it is now time to kick some internship butt. I’ve been told many times to think of an internship as one long extended interview. Depending on how well you perform, at the end of your internship you will either leave with a good recommendation or wasted, unpaid time (if you’re lucky, perhaps paid). Nonetheless, here are a few tips to stay on top of your game and help you become the ideal intern!

  • Be the first to arrive and the last to leave. Point blank! Your superiors will notice and be impressed. Nothing better than a hungry intern ready to work, right?
  • Don’t be afraid to express your opinion or ask questions. Speak up at meetings and put your two cents in if needed.  You will never know what kind of genius, creative idea you might come up with if you never share it! I know it might be intimidating to think about questioning your own boss on a task he/she assigned you, but if you’re unsure about something it’s best to clarify it ASAP or you will most likely have to redo it. No one likes to waste their time. If you do, well… then more power to you.
  • Appreciate all tasks, even the small ones. Each one counts! If you can’t master the smallest tasks, what makes you think your boss will ever hand over a major project to you? Even if it’s doing a coffee or lunch run for your co-workers, the ability to accomplish every assignment will go unnoticed.

How To Not Lose a Job in 10 Days

  • Never settle. Don’t ever get too comfortable with just being the intern. Always work at the level of an employer. Just because you don’t have their title (or paycheck) doesn’t mean you can’t have the same work ethic as them—or a better one!
  •  PR wardrobe.  As the NYC PR Girls say, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” As college students, it’s normal for us to get out of bed, throw on some sweats, a t-shirt, running shoes and jet out the door. However, as an intern one must always dress to impress. If you’re too shy to ask about what kind of attire is appropriate for the office, quickly scan the room at your interview to get a feel as to how formal the workplace is.

Need more ideas?
Take a few hints from Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada:

Who wouldn’t want her new closet?

  • Positive attitude, positive impact. No one likes to be around negative Nancy. Prove to your employers that you are the superstar intern. Walk into the office with a smile and leave with a smile. Show that you are excited about the opportunity given to you. Even if it’s just one of those days, try your best to not let it show. If you successfully get through the work day with a smile, treat yourself to something you wouldn’t normally do—or eat! Whatever helps you think and be more positive. At the end of the day, it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Through it all, enjoy every aspect of your PR experience, do your absolute best, and be yourself!

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