What to expect from your Summer Internship
So, you read our blog last week about the ‘Do’s and Don’ts for your Summer Internship’ and now we’re spoiling you with a second one. We love helping you out. And we will continue to do so until our keyboards are worn-out, and our fingers are sore from typing. Well, maybe we will stop before reaching that last point…
Mystery often surrounds The Summer Internship. It is likely you have never done one before and are unclear about what to expect. Plus, with the start date so far away, it either can play in your mind for a prolonged period, or you put it on the list things ‘I’ll Get Around To Addressing At Some Point, Maybe’. Either option is not ideal. You need to go into this with your A-game so you are prepared for everything. Well, almost.
Expect the dull work. We know. So far, we’re not making you feel any better about this internship. Unfortunately doing the dull jobs is part of the package. It’s the same with everything in life really; as our mums taught us, ‘you have to eat your greens first.’ The problem is, at the start of an internship you are untested, and at the bottom of the pecking order. Our advice? Make out like it’s not boring you to death and show a genuine interest.
Expect real responsibility. Wait what! Didn’t we just say the opposite? It’s true, we did. But if you do the dull jobs well, you will prove yourself to be a reliable employee. If you do this, you can expect more meaningful and complex tasks to come your way. An internship really starts to pick up after you have been there for a week or so. So don’t worry if the internship isn’t all that you expected it to be straight away. Also – remember even if your work isn’t exciting, it doesn’t mean it’s not important. Make sure you complete all tasks to a high standard.
Expect a supervisor. Seems obvious – but at an internship, this is the person who will look out for you. Make sure you know who this is ASAP. This internship will be a challenging time for you, it is important you know who to go to for advice. Use your supervisor as a ‘mentor’ – use your meetings with them as time to find out more, ask your questions, and offer them opportunity to comment on how you could be doing better.
Expect people to aim to impress you. Sounds weird right? What you don’t realise is most companies are aiming to show off a little bit to their interns. You are there to get a flavour of what it is like to work for them. And they don’t want to be known as the boring kids on the block. So, if there is an event happening, an out-of-office activity or even a work social - expect an invite. And make sure you go. These are the perks of the internship.
Expect to learn about yourself. Sure, it is a cheesy line, but it is true. This internship will give you a better understanding of what you want from a career. You are going to be exposed to many different career options. You’ll likely find that there are career paths you thought you wanted to work in, but now realise you don’t, and vice versa. By the end of the internship you will have a real understanding of the type of roles that you want to do.
It is what you make of it. If you spend every day counting down the hours until 5pm, or spending 30-minutes ‘nipping to the toilet’ just to stop having to staple documents together, you’re in for a slow, negative experience that will probably put you off that whole work sector for life. If you get stuck in and ask for more to do, you will be rewarded with the greater level of responsibility and experience that you desire.
If you have any questions about your internship, please leave a comment in the box below. Equally if you have done one before and have advice to give, please drop it in the comments!