Over the summer I had a fashion PR internship in Los Angeles, CA and had the opportunity to work with smart industry professionals. Surprisingly, they’re not the only ones I learned from. As one of seven interns at this company, I also learned quite a bit from my fellow colleagues as I watched some interns thrive and others struggle. Because of the experience I now make smarter decisions. If you are thinking about an internship soon, here are the top 5 things you should remember.
Be on time. Showing up a few minutes late on your first day because you got lost is probably okay as long as you apologize and it doesn’t happen again. Showing up late everyday by half an hour, is probably not okay. Being late consistently shows that you don’t care enough about the company or the work you are doing to show up on time. This reflects badly on you and will reflect badly if you ever need a reference.
Ask lots of questions. An internship is a learning experience, and no one expects you to know how to do everything immediately. A mistake my fellow interns and I made was not asking questions when we weren’t sure about how to complete a task. This made our supervisor’s job a little harder as they had to check our work and fix mistakes that could have been avoided.
Be polite to EVERYONE. Networking is so important in today’s business world, burning bridges and being rude get you nowhere. You never know when you will be working with or for these people again. Making friends and networking will make working with them in the future easier. It also shows you can work in a team.
Don’t complain or gossip. If your internship consists of getting coffee, running errands and other generally mundane tasks, don’t complain. There are other people who applied for the job you got and willing to take your place. Even if you don’t feel like you are learning anything, you will get something out of the internship. Along those lines, don’t spend your time gossiping either, it just makes you look petty. You have better things to do than talking about Jan in accounting.
Be respectful. Probably one of the craziest things I saw an intern do this summer was look for another job while at work. The intern was trying to get a permanent job at the end of the summer with the company we were interning for, and yet everyday he was on indeed.com or LinkedIn looking for other job opportunities. If you want to keep your options open, that’s fine, but do it on your own time.
Learn from other interns’ previous mistakes and you will be well on your way to becoming one of the best!