As an employer in 2015, there are some skills that I like our interns to have BEFORE they even start. I know that may seem harsh – aren’t internships a time to learn? Yes, absolutely. BUT we can teach you so much more and get so much more done during our time together if you come into the internship with a few basic skills. Here is my list of things that I’d like our interns to come in with knowledge of BEFORE they start the internship:
- Excel. An intern should understand how to use the basic functions of Excel. They should understand how to sort data, alphabetize information, calculate the sum of their data, add/remove rows or columns, highlight rows/columns, and add new tabs to an existing document.
- Google Drive. Many companies (including mine) do most of their work in Google Drive/Google Docs so that many people can work on the same documents at one time. Log into Google Drive and play around with Google Docs. Create a new spreadsheet or document, share it with a friend – watch how anything you type is automatically saved. Understand how to create documents, share them, rename them, and create a folder in your Google Drive to store them.
- Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIN. If you don’t know how to use these five popular social channels – FIO (Figure It Out). Create personal profiles on each one and make a point of updating your channel every other day. Employers are going to rely on you to use these networks, potentially help with their existing pages, and more importantly – they want to see how YOU use these channels on a day-to-day. I also suggest making sure you understand which social profiles your company uses and being familiar with the tone they use on each network.
- HootSuite or Another Scheduling Tool. HootSuite is the tool that my company uses to schedule tweets. Create an account for yourself on this site (FREE) and try scheduling tweets. We schedule Facebook posts directly on Facebook, so you can try that out right on the site. Just create a community page and practice using the scheduling function to see how it works.
- Google Calendar OR Outlook Calendar. Your company probably uses a custom calendar system or Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar. Explore these tools and practice creating an event/meeting, inviting people to it, and entering in all of the important information. It’s not a bad idea to start keeping an online calendar of your own and syncing it with your phone. I promise, it will help you organize your life!