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Internship Mindset

 Written by    February 14, 2018

Hiya there, pals!

Last week I celebrated (read: solid head nod) my first month-iversary with my internship. Okkkkk, technically I also interned for the same company over the summer, but I took a break last semester. And, this is my first time holding down an internship while also taking a full course load of classes.

As a junior prematurely gaining graduation anxiety, I’ve found myself hyper-aware of my experiences at my internship, which sometimes translates to more stress than is probably warranted (I’ll explain that last part in a jiffy). But a lot of students take on internships. So I want to give a few tips to how to approach internships for all of you thinking about interning somewhere–or those who or already are (and feel the same way).

This is/isn’t a job

You heard me, this is/isn’t a job. Fine. I know I’m indecisive. If I had to pick one, I’d say it isn’t. And I think this is one of the hardest head spaces to get out of. This isn’t a job, even if you get paid; first and foremost, it’s a learning experience. You’re there to learn about a job, to get a sense of a job and the skills that are needed for it.

It’s a learning experience

Yea, yea I know I literally just said the exact same thing, but let me make a slightly different point. If the internship is a learning experience (and not a real job), then embrace learning. By this, I mean embrace mistakes. Embrace notes, corrections, critiques. Embrace all of the “negative” feedback (CONSTRUCTIVE) as much as you embrace praise. If you really want to go gung-ho with this, ask for more constructive feedback. But also: It’s perfectly normal to not want critiques. Just try to think about what you gain from them.

Judge them

…in a nice way. So, yes, you have bosses in your internship and, yes, please respect your bosses. BUT an internship is an opportunity for them to assess you in the position as much as it is for you to assess that workplace and the work itself. Take this time to figure out if the work is right for you, if it’s what you expected.

Alrighty, those are my takeaways from my (sort of) month-iversary. Also, FYI, I’m currently earning school credit for my internship. If you want to do the same, talk to your advisor about possible “internship/field studies” courses.

Indecisively yours,


photo creds

Advice, Author, Internships, Personal, Stress, Work

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