The 7 best pieces of career advice for interns

Being “the intern” doesn’t come with much power or allure. That said, internships are a fantastic way to earn professional experience that can be leveraged into a full-time position later on. An internship is a crucial learning opportunity that can be career-altering. Pay attention, interns. This one’s for you.

 

1. Be patient

Working hard for little or no pay in a demanding position can be frustrating and at times a little demoralizing. While surrounded by people with more power and experience than you, remember that this internship is temporary and will lead to bigger and better things further down the road. Everyone around you had to pay their dues and this is your turn.

 

2. Be humble

Don’t get too big for your britches. Remember that as an intern, there’s no job or duty that’s below you. That’s what it is to be an intern. That said, it’s ok to demand more responsibilities, as long as you’re already getting done what’s expected of you.

 

3. Network creatively and strategically

It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know. A major aspect of any internship should be making professional connections with coworkers and anybody you’re interacting with professionally. Whatever company outings, events or activities exist, join them. Playing intermural sports, for example, is a great way to establish these relationships.

 

career advice for interns

 

4. Work hard

The best way to prove yourself to your manager and coworkers is to work hard. Come in early and stay late if you need to. Triple-check your work for mistakes. Sit in on meetings when you can. Take on extra responsibilities if you can handle it. All the hard work will prove that you’re someone worth hiring full-time in the future.

 

5. Dress for the job you want

It may sound silly, but dressing sharp makes you look like you know what you’re doing. How you dress contributes to the overall impression of you at work. Look at how your managers are dressing and let that inspire your own look.

 

6. Let your passion and enthusiasm shine through

Be excited about what you’re working on. This is not the time to be too cool for school. Geek out and follow what ignites your passion. Your enthusiasm will catch the attention of others and should inspire you to work harder and learn and do more.

 

career advice for interns

 

7. Be proactive

Once you’ve mastered your regular intern duties, it’s OK to look for more work challenges. If a coworker is working on an interesting challenge, see how you can help or if you can at least observe what they’re working on. Be curious about what other people are working on. Ask questions when you can and always listen carefully to the answers.

 

Learn more about how to apply this career advice for interns at an internship abroad.

 

 

Sources: http://www.businessinsider.com/advice-for-interns-2013-6?op=1/#ian-sketcher-trainee-at-oglivy-and-mather-12, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeswomanfiles/2011/11/17/how-to-really-get-a-job-as-a-twentysomething-woman/2/#1f7534643ce6

Photos

1. based on SILA SVETA: HOW TO MAKE MULTIMEDIA SHOW, by Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, CC-by-2.0

2. based on SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC PLASTICS. HOW POPULATION AGEING AFFECTS INFRASTRUCTURE, by Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, CC-by-2.0

3. based on Work, by Concept 2 Model D, CC-by-2.0

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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