Congrats, you! You’ve made it to the big-time; you’ve scored your first major internship! (Or your second, or third…) Whichever way you call it, it’s a huge deal!
Bad news: The hard work isn’t over just yet.
If you’ve been keeping up with me recently, you know that I’ve been hard at work at my own summer internship, as a Photo Intern at Seventeen Magazine. In my month-and-a-half experience, I’ve covered a lot of ground, and Lord, have I learned a lot. As we chatted about upon my departure to NYC, one of my main purposes in this internship is to help empower others however I’m able. By no means am I the perfect intern–I’ve made plenty of mistakes, and will certainly continue to do so–but I truly feel that the key way to gain insight is, in fact, to make those mistakes and learn from them. So, now that I’ve got your attention, I’d like to share some of this insight with you!
If you’re already loving your summer internship, you can make it even better!
If you’re not feeling confident in your performance, it’s not too late to make a change!
Here are my top 5 tips for rocking your internship:
(And a peek at the Seventeen office afterwards!)
1. Dive Right In. The sooner you realize that you won’t understand everything the first day (or even the first month), the better. Admit it, but don’t let it hold you back! The worst thing you can do is sit and stare in horror at the project before you and think if you ignore it, it’ll disappear. (It won’t). Have some confidence, and don’t outsmart your common sense (Thank you, Lee Brice, for an applicable country song reference). Tough task? Step 1: Breathe. Step 2: Use your brain. Step 3: Ask other interns. Step 4: Ask your boss. (It really is okay!)
2. Make Friends With The Other Interns: These relationships are so important. From having lunch buddies, to offering a calming word when your projects become a bit overwhelming, these are the ones you want to have around! You need to have each others’ backs; sharing the blame (haha!) when things go wrong lightens the load on everyone, and ultimately leads everyone to be happier and more productive. If you’re interning in the field you’re pursuing as a career, then these relationships will be invaluable to you when you need someone to call on in the (scary) near future.
3. Learn To Admit To Your Mistakes. And even some that aren’t yours at all. If it’s something small that easily fixable, don’t waste your time pointing fingers, and instead, think about the bigger picture. Basically, pick your battles! If you made a mistake, the “adult” thing to do, as I am learning, is to immediately admit to it, briefly offer your apologizes, and promptly fix it to the best of your ability. Most importantly, though, don’t dwell on your mistakes. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
4. Be Proactive. From someone who is constantly paranoid about royally screwing something up, this one is hard for me. The hardest part about this one is that it sounds like an “above and beyond” kind of thing, when it’s simply what’s expected of you. This won’t come into play until you’ve learned the ins and outs of your internship, because it involves thinking ahead on any project you’re based on the experience you’ve already had. The best way to describe this is to think: “I’ve done this before. What do I usually do after this?” and then do it. If you’re struggling to remind yourself, tape this to your desk, and let Ryan Gosling help you out.
5. Show Your Spark! This means coming in early and staying late, not because you have to, but because you want to. This means having a genuine smile on your face when faced with any task, and then completing it with the same fire you first completed your application. This also means asking what else you can help with if you don’t have any current assignments, because no editor wants to see you derping around on Pinterest as they walk by. Above all, always, always, always strive to be humble, and genuinely grateful to be there. If you walk with this attitude, it’s sure to shine through in the best way!
Sure, internships are hard work. But they also involve being in a totally fun environment with tons of talented and highly motivated individuals! And sometimes, they even come with a fancy decked-out couch and a view worth a million bucks. May I introduce to all you fab readers, the Seventeen office:
My desk, spruced up with all of my favorite Kate Spade desk goodies. I’m such a hoarder of these, so a big shoutout to the BF for adding to my collection with this adorable desk set. Almost too pretty to use!
Check out that view! I’m talking about these amazing Valentino-inspired rockstud heels from Riffraff, duh.
The entrance to the Seventeen office on the 35th floor. We currently share the floor with Food Network, who generously stocks the freebie table (yes, it exists!) with fun things to munch on every now and then. #NoRegrets
Thank you so much for hangin’ with me, and I hope this post left you with a little inspo to make your internship the most rewarding experience it possibly can be! If I can leave you with one note, it’s this: your experience is only what you make of it, and your attitude will determine every bit of that!
Or, in the wise words of Hannah Montana,
“Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock.”
Rock on, intern queens.
Don’t forget to follow Riffraff on Instagram to get the look pictured in this post, and many more office chic styles! 128K others have…so hop on board!
*This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own. Interested in sponsoring a post? Shoot me an email at email@example.com.