I guess the most challenging part of an internship is how to make it interesting. At times it can become really helpful, whereas at times completely futile. So stop missing the mark. Having a proper internship with proper experience is like having the ‘dynamic pack’ in your bag. But what exactly those ‘big guys’ want to see IN you as an intern? Trust me, a hell lot. But then come on be smart enough to show them your worth in smarter ways. (You are not dumb either)
- Set personal Goals:
Don’t forget you are actually going out of your way, squeezing out time from your hectic schedule, managing to fight all temptations of social gatherings, chit-chats, parties, etc. just for this Internship so it has to be worth it. If they cannot structure it for you, do it yourself. Set realistic goals and deadlines and avoid engaging yourself in counterfactual thinking. Locate your interest area and build on it. (Buddy, your destiny lies in your hand after all)
- Keep updating your immediate boss:
Quite obvious? Oh no not always. The ‘big guy’ can just be so occupied that there are possibilities you might not see him for days. But then a lot depends on his/her remembering your ‘existence’. Fix meetings, try and sit with him/ her regularly, share your personal opinions on the works you have been assigned (good or bad) as well as forward your progress report. (Friend it always helps to blow your own trumpet at times and as an intern, all you need to do is to figure out ‘that’ correct time. Who knows the next salary check might just have an increased number on it for that! )
- Positive Attitude:
Sounds sleepy? Don’t, don’t, please don’t. Remember, what seem to us as boring statements are often blessings in disguise. So be positive. Don’t shy away from work or try expressing negative ideas on whatever ‘bullshit’ they forward. Just be ‘diplomatically correct’ and get your message across. Working extra hours are equally impressive. Be ready for the little grant works and do them with equal level of enthusiasm. After all, rules on community living say- behave the way you expect to be behaved.
- Avoid negativity:
Some faces are intolerable at times and everything they do seem annoying isn’t it? Oh, I know that feeling completely but then you got to beat it. Don’t allow frustration surface on your face. Avoid being rude, complaining, appearing arrogant, walking in late, leaving early, missing deadlines, etc. They are of no use. They won’t benefit you as an intern in any way. Popularity will decline and you will be left in the corner with all possibility of getting hints to vacate the office as soon as possible. (Sounds sick I know but this is again among one of those bitter realities which you got to digest)
- Grab all the opportunities to learn about your company:
Consider yourself lucky if the ‘big guy’ calls you to attend a company meeting or a seminar, a talk or an event may be. The more you are exposed to new ideas and new people the more you will learn. If they don’t allow you those exposures then take the task yourself and show your own level of curiosity. (Not to forget, this internship matters to you at the end.)
- Please ask questions if they are in your mind:
There are no questions on earth that can be disqualified as ‘dumb questions’. Smart people know that. So just don’t hesitate to clear your doubts. Internship is a learning process. Yes, your ‘big guy’ definitely wants to wring out certain amount of work from you but then you shouldn’t be forgetting as well what you are there for. You got to use your time most efficiently. Seek advice, ask questions, voice your opinions, get clarified, awake, arise and don’t stop till the goal is reached.
- Undertake tasks yourself and initiate ventures:
Sounds tough? But it is interesting. Take initiatives and explore your own capabilities. It always brings home an amount of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment but just keep in mind to credit your fellow colleagues whoever has helped you in it. People who can think ‘out of the box’ are always seen to have an upper hand over everything. Moreover, it has been universally acknowledged as the easiest tool to impress your employer.
- Find a mentor:
Chill, chill, chill! It is just for your own sake. There’s no harm in giving one the feeling that he/ she is your only friend or last resort. Dude, pretensions always help and you know that. So just spot that mentor who is going to look after you, shield you from work politics, teach you, not to forget- help you and above all, recommend you to higher officials and help accomplish you your goals. What fun! (Things become so simpler with an angel always watching over you.)
- Enjoy yourself:
By now you must have discovered the fact that internships by nature are actually of real fun. It is easy if you know how to make it easy. Play safe, avoid office romances, be discreet while making decisions, make friends and maintain healthy relationships with your colleagues and leave with tangible results. Don’t just be like a robot, mechanical and uptight, be flexible and balance things.
(I sound preachy? Oh no, use your brain. I am being just an intern that ‘they’ expect me to be. Sigh.)