Beginning an internship can be a tough transition. In fact, starting out in any new environment can be difficult when you aren’t quite sure what to expect. Before days in the office become a routine, finding your niche can be quite the challenge.
And while it can be easy to get discouraged sometimes, what I’ve come to realize through my experience out in ‘the real world’ is that interning is the ultimate learning experience. You never know exactly how your day is going to go. From weekly status meetings to visiting sweet co-workers’ newborns, interning for JJPR has been an experience I will forever cherish.
If you’re starting a new internship or job soon, here are a few pieces of advice to consider. Together, these 10 tips make the perfect recipe for success in the workplace and will help you leave a lasting impression on your co-workers. The craziest thing? These tips require zero talent.
1. Be on time.
The snooze button is not your friend. Waking up early will allow for more time to relax before jumping into a morning meeting. In fact, arriving early may help you get more familiar with the office standard. Try to get into the habit of being an early riser – this will only give you extra time to accomplish even more.
2. Show a strong work ethic.
Demonstrating a strong work ethic will show your boss and co-workers you are invaluable. Display responsibility, discipline and integrity in everything you do, and you will exceed expectations.
3. Put in the extra effort.
For those tasks that seem impossible or above your reach, just remember to put in the extra effort. Showing you care about each assignment will convey your commitment to the internship and each project that comes your way. I have faced many tasks that have challenged me throughout these past three months, but I tried my best on each and every one, and I assure you, it does not go unnoticed.
4. Watch your body language.
Communicating with others clearly and professionally is essential. Remember to maintain a smile and eye contact while speaking to others. Body language can make or break you in any career.
5. Show some energy.
High energy is essential for those Mondays that never seem to go as planned. From puppy sitting to afternoon planking sessions, JJPR’s office life exudes energy. We get a little pep in our step once we've had our second cup of coffee.
6. Stay positive.
Maintaining a positive attitude in the workplace will not only motivate you, but the entire team. Have enthusiasm with every task you are given—it’s contagious.
7. Keep your passion.
We’ve all heard the Confucius saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Having passion about what you do will drive you toward achieving your greatest accomplishments.
8. Be coachable.
Be able to commit to change, be open to new information, and be appreciative of other perspectives. Set yourself apart by being able to be molded by your employer into what they need. I’ve done everything from social media posts to holding banners during a newscast. Being an intern has taught me to be readily available to do anything and be anywhere I am needed.
9. Go the extra mile.
Take on those tedious jobs that others aren’t looking forward to doing. You will receive praise in the office for the little things that you can do for others.
10. Be prepared.
This means planning for the future. Prioritize your to-do list every day and set new goals to accomplish each week. This can seem trivial at first, but it will end in high reward when you reach your end goals. Be prepared to invest a lot of time in getting established.
By following these ‘hacks for interning,’ I’ve transitioned from the clueless intern I felt I started out as to a true young professional. And it’s all thanks to these guidelines that require zero talent. If you can manage to maintain these 10 characteristics in the workplace, then you have mastered the interning world and can begin to set your sights even higher.
Bonus tip: It never hurts to be the go-to gal for snacks—Cheez-Its are an office favorite that we can’t live without!