Lately, I have been reflecting on my summer internship in regards to what I have learned and how I have grown. I have a few tidbits that I would like to share.
1. You can survive the long days/weeks
Before starting this Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. summer internship, I had my doubts. In the past, I had only ever worked half days in an office and I didn’t know if I was mentally or physically able to survive a full workday, let alone workweek. However, trust me when I say that you
can do it! It’s not necessarily fun or easy, but it does get better. For me, it was definitely tough at first, but it’s a good feeling when you make it through the day without giving in to one of the excuses you thought of that would allow you to leave early!
My dad is a firm believer in saving money wherever possible and has always cursed the morning coffee expense. He tells me that is $4 dollars that I could be saving every day, rather than spending it on something I don’t technically need. From my perspective, that Dunkin Donuts latte I pick up every morning is what makes my day bearable. I find comfort in that warm cup of coffee every morning, and it gives me the strength to get going. If you want to treat yourself to coffee or whatever you’re craving on your lunch break, go for it.
3. Get to know your coworkers
An office environment is a new ballgame for students like us, who are often the youngest and least experienced people employed. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try to build relationships with the other people in the office. Even though your coworkers may not be your age or share your interests, it is still beneficial to your work environment when you know who and what is going on around you. You may find an unlikely friend or person to count on.
4. Don’t be afraid to go to a new place
Applying for summer jobs can be scary, and options can be limited. Although it may sound scary, don’t hesitate to consider applying for jobs in places beyond your hometown. This summer, I am interning at an office in Chicago, although I am from San Diego. It’s definitely tough to be so far away from my friends and family, but the experience I am gaining from this job opportunity is absolutely worth it.
5. Take it seriously
It is easy to get comfortable and slack off in a work environment once you have settled in and grown accustomed to your daily tasks and office happenings. Don’t forget that even when things are slow in the office, it is important to show professionalism and passion for what you are doing. Your supervisors
will notice this and it will come to benefit you in the future when you are seeking out new opportunities that require references.