This blog post was written by Kristyn Anguiano, senior sociology major and film and television studies minor and Campus Ambassador at Loyola Marymount University. Follow her on Twitter @KristynMA.
My junior year I realized that it was time to get an internship. Better late than never, right? Now, four internships later, I can honestly say that I am not the keeper-of-the-internships-secrets. I do not know everything about internships but over the course of these four internships I have learned some things:
1. Admit when you are wrong or need help: It is never a good idea to try to do everything on your own, especially not when you are supposed to be learning and growing (which you want to do in an internship). Stumped on a project? Ask for help. Interns are there to gain experience and knowledge so do not be afraid to seek advice from your mentors or supervisors. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about learning. In the same way, admit when you do something wrong. Jammed the printer and now you can’t figure out how to un-jam it? Let someone know and ask for help. Because really, everyone will probably need to use the printer and I bet you aren’t the first person to jam it ☺
2. Be accommodating and gracious: Whether you are leading a project or making coffee for your boss, be gracious! It is all part of the experience. So put a smile on your face even if you are not completely in love with the tasks you have been assigned (say, making 100 copies). Let it be known to your supervisor that you do not mind doing these smaller tasks. Be sure, however, to let them know that you would like to be involved with more projects (networking!) during your internship. While this is not guaranteed to happen, sometimes all your supervisor needs to see is that you are passionate about learning more.
3. Give your supervisor plenty of time to write a recommendation letter: Don’t be that intern: the one that tells their supervisor the week they are leaving that they need a letter of recommendation. Be sure to give your supervisor at least a few weeks in advance! It might also be helpful to give them a list of the tasks and projects you have been involved in during your internship. And of course, don’t forget that thank you card!
What are the greatest lessons you have learned? Let us know in the comments!