Oh welcome, you precious little nuggets. I remember my first Summer internship like it was just yesterday..... the first-day "professional" outfits, the coffee runs... the waking up at 9:30am and having the OH F*** IM SUPPOSED TO BE THERE AT 9 panic attacks. #GoodTimes.
As you embark on your Summer Internship this season, allow me, your 20-something-Sherpa (god, I am really loving that title) to give you some words of wisdom. I promise if you follow these simple steps, you may even land yourself a job at the end of the Summer.
1. Just show up on time. Listen to me. Your job is SUPER simple this Summer. Just get your ass to your desk on time. Nobody is going to remember the work you actually did this Summer (because its all work that nobody else cares about - that's why they've passed it to you) but they WILL remember if you were late.. because after years of being an office slave, the sight of a fresh-faced, unencumbered intern strolling in 15 minutes later then you and OMG ASHLEIGH DO YOU REALLY HAVE AN ICED COFFEE IN YOUR HAND RIGHT NOW? will really get your superior's blood boiling. Few tips to help you on this:
*Plan out your travel time in advance. Your goal is to arrive AT LEAST 15 minutes early. Every day. Shit happens and you need to be prepared for when the F train decides to chill on the track for no reason
*Set 4 alarms if you need to. I don't care if you roll out of bed and are so hungover you want to die. You have ONE JOB and it is to get there on time.
*If you ARE running late, you need to email your direct report and be SUPER apologetic. Go a little over the top with it.
2. Attitude is the next big thing. Again, people won't remember what the hell you did at their company all Summer, but they will remember your demeanor and if you were OK to be around. Smile. Be eager to help. No job is too big or too small. If you are confused on how to do something, ask for help in a polite way.
3. Find a place (outside of your office!) to have your emotional breakdowns. Office life can be overwhelming, but channel your inner bad bitch and adopt the "never let 'em see you sweat" mentality. You can still sweat, don't get me wrong. Just don't let 'em see it. I suggest a public park, or a Starbucks bathroom. #fromexperience
4. Be extra. Ask for extra work. Dress a little nicer then you need to. Go the extra mile. An intern once asked me if she could "take anything off my plate" and I swear, I almost kissed her on the mouth. You're only there for a short amount of time, make it count.
5. After your internship, write HANDWRITTEN NOTES to everyone you worked with. I can not stress this enough. It's one of those things you think "everyone does" or "feels outdated". But soooo few people do this. An email is not enough. A handwritten note - people save that shit. People remember it. Even if you were a complete disaster all summer, this is one way to leave on the right foot and leave a good taste in people's mouths.
6. Stay in touch. Make sure you connect with everyone on LinkedIn, or if you can, get a few of your favorite people you worked with's personal emails. Especially if you are going back to school and have some time before you will be officially looking for a job. People move and switch companies, so you want to make sure you stay connected. When you DO start looking for a job, these connections you made at your internship are your first line of defense! These are the people who can help circulate your resume around, so stay connected to them.
You've got this!! Now go get me an iced coffee.