The average college student spends the first few weeks of their new internship nervous. Trying to make a good impression, perform every task perfectly, and prove they are capable of this position. Each assignment is different and crafts new skills.
At the start of my time with Braathe Enterprises, I felt this way. Trying to get my feet under me and taking it one day at a time. A few weeks go by, the dust settles, and this is where it gets interesting.
Your experience in this internship, from this point on, is completely up to you. Communication with your supervisor is imperative. The ability to ask questions and hold thoughtful conversations with people “in the business” gives you perspective. Connect with everyone on LinkedIn, fellow interns, your superiors, the CEO of the company— everyone you can find. Don’t be afraid to send a message. A quick phone call, to pick their brain, provides advice and direction.
Set yourself apart from the others and show initiative. What can you add to the conversation? Think about new ways to contribute to the company, and present them to your supervisor. Propose potential projects, including research and a time-table. Every new idea yields growth and adds to the resume.
When your boss asks for your help on any project, say yes. If you’re working in finance but asked to work on a press release for the company, say yes. Never give up an opportunity to learn. You may feel completely out of your element, but do your own research and work with others. Working at Braathe Enterprises as a writing and editing intern I have edited resumes, written blog posts, done research on non-profits, input data for clients, wrote product descriptions, and edited audio for a podcast. I was challenged, but I figured it out. Make no mistake, I asked questions along the way but made an effort to work as self-sufficiently as possible.
I think the trick is to not think of yourself as an intern, instead think of yourself as an employee. You were hired, and every day moving forward you need to continue to prove yourself in the position. Make yourself an asset— become irreplaceable. It’s this attitude that can lead to an entry-level position.
Overall, you need to meet your employer half-way. Every position offers an opportunity to network, learn, and grow in your career. You’ve been given all the tools, so get to work.