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20 tips for Success in Internships and your future career.

Here are 20 things every student should know about succeeding in an internship and this will result in success in your future career too.

Keep a Journal and a FAQ. In the journal keep track of things you did well, things you screwed up, things you learned, and all feedback and coaching you received from your supervisors. In the FAQ, keep a running list of questions you have. As you figure out the answers, add those into the list as well. When you have meetings with your supervisor, you can use these documents to help you have conversations around them around challenges you are having, and things you are accomplishing.

Get the offer. If you are interning with a potential for a full time offer or a return internship next year, then your main goal is to get the offer. Even if you hate it there and you know you wouldn't ever work their full time, it will make your life recruiting for a different job much easier if you can say "I interned at ABC company and while I enjoyed my experience and they offered me a full time position, it wasn't a good fit." If you don't get an offer, you will have to explain that in every interview and people will be skeptical of your ability.

Don't be "that intern". I've seen interns come to work suffering from hungover from last night's drinking, talk loudly and generally being inappropriate in the work place. I've seen interns hook up with full time employees. I've seen interns who just kept talking about how the internship or the full time job was just a stepping stone to the next level. People get interns once a year and they're all college kids and it makes for a lot of good gossip in an otherwise soul crushing world. Make sure the gossip about you is how you're a cool guy/girl, moderately funny and a hard worker not you're "that guy".

Work hard and check your work. This isn't college and if you get something wrong, then it's wrong. You are an intern, so people will check everything you do and you won't lose the company or a client millions, but try to do a good job and double check everything.

Be a generally positive person. People in the working world don't have energy to hear your problems. If you're an intern, save the talking about your non-work related problems for your friends. Not even other interns, because they may tell other people in the workplace and that is not good.

Demonstrate Proactiveness but in the right way. One way of doing this is to come to the supervisor when things are slow and they are not busy and say you had some excess time or capacity in case there was any new projects you can help on.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, but is also be willing to try to figure a task out on your own before getting help. If the task is not complicated, it's good to try and figure it out yourself because it saves your other coworkers time.

Take Note of the habits of their coworkers and supervisor. Most supervisors like interns to do things the way they are used to doing in the company. For example if the intern is in charge or doing a task, he/she should learn the right procedures quickly, but also try to make notes or complete tasks the way the supervisor or other coworkers do it. This is very helpful because they will not have to deviate from the norms they have established in the company.

Be patient, flexible, and self-sufficient. In the office, there may be stretches of time on busier days when everyone is completely occupied and cannot spare a minute. On such days, it's good for the intern to be patient and flexible to help accommodate the busy schedule of other coworkers.

Try to be independent and not needs constant supervision. You should try to learn as much as you can and try to do things on your own without requiring too much supervision. The intern is there to help and no supervisor wants to spend too much time supervising you even for minor things.

Don't consider yourself "above" a certain kind of work or above your position as an intern. Try to appreciate any task that you are given by your supervisor because those tasks are important for the office and they would not be asking you to do them if they were not. It's good for interns to have goals and ambitions and areas of interest. But just also remember that even though your work might feel menial and lame sometimes, it still matters, and you are helping someone else do their job that much more efficiently.

Try to do some projects. Your goal as an intern is to get hired. So as much as you should do everything you are asked to do, try to do more than just busy work. You should do the busy work as fast as possible and then ask if you can work on a "special project" on the side that will help contribute. Companies are different and give interns more responsibility than others. But again - your goal is to get hired - so not pissing them off and making yourself look like a strong worker is your first priority.

Ask questions after doing some research. This will help you figure out if it's a stupid question or not. Don't be afraid to be stuck, but don't bother the full-timers if it's a question that Google or a little bit of time on your part could solve.

Try to meet with your manager mentor weekly. This is not a hard-and-fast rule, but a quick 5-15 minute meeting every now and then is a good way to stay in the loop, get feedback, and establish rapport.

Be curious. While waiting for your manager to get you something to do, browse around. Company's usually have loads of cool training manuals or documentation from past projects. Poke around and see what stuff you have access to.

Bring up ideas you have. quietly. Your weekly chat with your manager is a good place for this. Big meetings are not.

Assume the status quo is there for a reason. Ask why something is the way it is before saying anything. You're new. You're there to learn. Don't talk bad about a process or procedure before knowing what it's all about and why it is there in the first place. Most company procedures take a long time to develop after lots of considerations for many people's needs.

Learn to imitate. Don't know how to fill out this form? Find one that's been filled out before and use it as an example.

Dress Professionally Ask most supervisors and they will tell you that their best interns were always dressed professionally, friendly, and on time. They also let the supervisor know via email and text if they were late, why they were late, and when to expect them.

Dress code: A good rule of thumb for an intern is to pick a person in the office you feel is respected and valued, and dress like them. If he wears ties even on causal days, you wear ties. If she wears stockings with her skirts, you wear stockings. Dress for the job you want, or at least dress like the person who's job you want.

Know how to win friends and influence people: In some cases, interns who are liked by their supervisors knew how to flatter them without being needy. Ask the supervisor why they like working their job, get them to talk about themselves. Most people like talking about themselves.


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