Getting Comfortable with Your Internship

Now that it’s halfway through the summer, I’m sure everyone is starting to feel comfortable with their internships. While a sense of belonging can be great, it makes it easy to forget where you stand as an intern and it can lead to some common mistakes that we are all prone to making.

These mistakes include:

  1. Becoming Too Casual
    1. When you start to get to know your coworkers and managers, it’s easy to get too comfortable with them. Make sure that you’re always being professional with communications like emails or instant messaging. You may be friends with someone, but it’s still a working environment and these forms of communication are recorded by the company. Make sure that you’re always being respectful and mindful of your syntax and grammar. In addition to that, make sure that during meetings you are paying attention and not checking your phone or doing other things on your computer while someone else is presenting. Be attentive and present during all meetings and conversations that you have while at work. If you do this it will show that you are dedicated to your work.
  2. Sitting Back
    1. Sometimes there is a lag in your project or workload which is the nature of all internships and sometimes even full-time jobs. While it can be nice to sit and relax a little bit, it’s not something that you should do all of the time. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your manager or other people in the department if you want to learn something new or pick up some extra ad hoc tasks. This can show that you’re taking an initiative and have a good work ethic.
  3. Poor Time Management
    1. Showing up to work late or taking a two-hour lunch may be nice, but it’s not something that your employers will appreciate. Pay attention to what the other employees are doing and set your clock to them so you can better fit in if there are no set rules for times and lunch breaks. In addition to timing, prioritizing your workload and schedule is also good. If you have multiple tasks due on different dates, make a time schedule and to do list for how you’re going to tackle those projects. This will ensure that you won’t be missing anything that’s important or expected of you.
  4. Lack of Communication
    1. Once the internship has calmed down, it’s easy for both you and your manager to think that things are all set and that everyone knows what’s going on and doesn’t need anything from the other. While that may be true to some degree, it’s easy to lose much-needed communication. Reaching out to your manager and setting up a weekly check-in meeting is a great way to make sure that you are still on track with your goals and ensure that you are meeting the expectations of the company and your manager. This line of communication will allow you to get the most out of your internship and make sure that you’re learning. It will help you have a better gauge on whether or not you want to work with this company in the future or have a job similar to your internship.

While I’m sure that none of you will make any of these mistakes, it’s always a good idea to assess yourself and make sure that you aren’t falling into any of these traps. With that, good luck with the second half of your internships and enjoy the rest of the summer.



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