Kat McKee is our next Employer Guest Blogger. She is the Senior Account Manager for Co-Communications, Inc. Read her tips on interning and about her companies interns own success! If you have questions for Kat please comment on her blog post.
An internship should be mutually beneficial - and also benefit the intern. Get comfortable asking questions. Ask to be included in a relevant meeting, to join a webinar, to be included in email distribution lists for white papers, news, team updates, industry news, etc. It really is in the way that you ask, so practice the method - try wording your question so that the options for responses are "Yes", or "Yes!". Although the internship may be short-term, show 100% commitment.
All internships include grunt work. That might mean answering phones, running to Staples, or getting coffee. Doing these tasks, and doing them spectacularly well, works in your favor. People will remember you. Listen to co-workers and try emulating the way that they answer the phones. Be happy to leave the office and run an errand. Attitude opens doors. A happy face makes everyone feel good. Relax, engage in the conversation, and be yourself, while still showing respect and interest in the company and co-workers. And, ask questions!
Before you show up on the first day, learn a little bit about the company. Walk in well-rested and on time. Although interns generally are young and svelte, do not wear shorts or sundresses to an office environment - unless specifically advised that this is acceptable before hand. Business casual does mean business. If there is still confusion, wear khakis and an oxford that first day. Ask questions!
We love our interns, and they often return to us for more semesters than we can count. It is our company policy that, when an intern returns to work for a third semester, they are eligible to be considered for hourly pay. We have actually hired interns, and a previous intern is now an Account Coordinator currently working with a great team (my team). We offer professional references for interns, and enjoy following through on this, helping, and learning of their career growth. When seeking a full-time permanent opportunity, we want to help our interns, and respond to formal reference requests with enthusiasm.
Build your bridges!!!