You made it! You’ve gotten the internship of your dreams! Now that the ‘hardest’ part is over (the interview), you’re in the #koolkidsklub—an intern. But for a lot of people, this is when panic sets in. How do you go about tackling the crazy waters of an internship. No one wants to fall flat on their face and be remembered as the intern who screwed up. You’ll need a PLAN. But don’t fret. We’ve piled together five useful internship hacks to help aid you along your journey to becoming a super-intern.
If you haven’t already gotten an internship, click here to find out what kind of company is the best for you.
Ready to rock your internship?
Let’s get down to business. Embarking on a new internship is always going to give you butterflies in your stomach. So, before we delve into our top five internship hacks, we have several tips for your first day.
Firstly, prepare your self introduction. This includes dressing the part. Putting in effort to dress smartly for your first day will not only show your professionalism, but also help you feel ready to take on the world! First impressions are everything these days, so find something that will fit into the company dress code and also give you a boost of confidence.
In the advent that your supervisor decides to have formal introductions, you wouldn’t want to seem nervous and unprepared. Preparing a few lines about yourself to share with your colleagues during lunch or in a meeting is a good way to go!
Secondly, arrive early. Do not be late for your first day of work! Other than showing professionalism, arriving 10-15 minutes early can also give yourself time to settle down and maybe even check out the pantry 😉
Lastly, bring a notebook. Your first day is the best time for you to adapt to your environment and meet the colleagues you’ll be working with for the next few months. We can guarantee that it’s going to be an extremely hectic day, so be sure to bring a notebook along to jot down important tips and dates.
5 handy internship hacks to lift you to super-intern status
Network and speak often with colleagues
We cannot stress this enough! From the start of your internship, make an effort to talk to as many people as possible. Whether it’s your colleague at the desk next to you or someone you meet at an event, it doesn’t hurt to strike up a conversation and connect with them. Connecting with others from other departments can also help forge friendships and hone interpersonal skills. You’ll be surprised at how much your colleagues can teach you.
Networking will not only help you broaden your personal connections, but could also come in handy when you need contacts for events or campaigns you lead during your internship. Also, networking might open up possible future opportunities for your career. So do channel your inner social butterfly!
Hack: Go for lunch with someone new every alternate day if you can help it. Spend time in thoughtful conversation at least twice a week. Now take things one step further: Ask for your colleagues’ and supervisor’s LinkedIn profiles! Go beyond keeping their numbers or emails!
Ask questions only an intern can
Asking questions not only shows your willingness to learn, but is also the fastest way to learn. It’s also more efficient to clarify things rather than to wait till you make a mistake. You aren’t expected to know how everything works, that’s why you’re doing an internship.
If you have any difficulties with certain things, don’t be afraid to ask. You heard it from us first: don’t keep your queries to yourself. We know you might be a little embarrassed asking about things you ‘should know’, but do remember that you’re there to learn!
Hack: To understand any problem, ask Why five times. Read all about how Buffer’s team does it here. And in case you had reservations, being an intern means you can ask all types of questions and look silly without being criticised for it. You’re here to learn!
Use the internship period to collect AWESOME feedback
We won’t sugarcoat things, internships aren’t just going to be sunshine and rainbows. There will be times when you make mistakes, and time where you feel like nothing is going according to plan. But don’t let that get you down.
Take a step back and reflect on your mistakes, and how you could’ve optimised your solutions better! Sometimes a few deep breaths are all you need to calm yourself down – in addition to asking your supervisor for invaluable feedback that will make tomorrow better than yesterday.
Hack: See if you can get regular check-in meetings with your supervisor, or even find a colleague you trust to speak with when you’re feeling down or stressed. Hold these meetings once a week, or bi-weekly, to ask for feedback. You’re not going solo – and no one expects you to.
Taking notes the efficient way
Unless you’ve got the power of shorthand writing, taking notes during important meetings will be a tough one especially if it’s key information being discussed at the table. Instead of using a notepad and pen, bring your phone along or even your laptop and tap away for note-taking.
Hack: If your Words Per Minute rate is abysmal, consider taking pictures of meeting slides with your phone to speed things along. It’ll save time, and you won’t miss out on a single point! Check in with coworkers or your supervisor after the meeting to make sure you haven’t left anything out.
Set aside 15% of your time for side projects
This might not sound like it’s possible, but as an intern, you’re allowed to explore more freely than a full-time employee would. Flash your “intern card” and free up your time for other tasks and projects outside of your main job scope. This way, you’ll be able to maximise your time as an intern – because you’ll be learning more than what you signed up for.
This goes beyond just exploring roles laterally. People are often more inclined to accept an intern’s requests (if it comes from a desire to learn), which means you get way more opportunities to learn than anyone else.
Hack: Ask managers and even other leaders in the company (or in the industry) for dedicated 1-on-1 sessions where you can learn richly from their experiences. Since you’re an intern, people will be less inclined to say no. Enjoy it while it lasts!
Strap in, and take your internship by storm
Let’s face it, it took a lot of guts to apply for this internship. Now that you’ve got it, be ready for the bumpy ride ahead. As Miley Cyrus once sang: It’s the climb! So young grasshopper, gear up for the journey, we can’t wait to see you take flight as a super-intern.
Looking for opportunities to unleash your powers as a super-intern? Good news, an internship is just a click away. Head on over to our marketplace now!