How to Survive your Summer Internship

This past week 3 new interns started with Shoutz. (Amazing news for us with having so many things coming all at once to the finish line)

I was laughing when talking to a friend about my “Jamie Talk” I always had with interns at my previous company. For those of you who don’t know, I am the biggest advocate of internships as it gave me the experience of a lifetime and where I found my budding happiness to be an entrepreneur.

I could go on and on about entrepreneur’s, but that is for another day..today is my advice to new interns this summer scouring the business scene trying to look like they aren’t freaking out by all of the lingo and quick meetings.

Here are my top five tips on surviving your internship:

1- Dress better than the salaried employees- whether your internship coordinator says it or not, the CEO will notice you in your business casual/khakis compared to the salary guy right next to you in plaid shorts. Whether or not the “culture is changing,” presentation means everything for someone new. Be impressive and always dress appropriately.

2- First day is not a time to look busy, it’s a time to ask questions, introduce yourself and ask more questions. Don’t hide behind a computer.

3- Always, always have a notepad. Golden rule, no explanation needed. Showing you are ready for any task coming your way is imperative.

4- Email etiquette- HUGE! To this day I will never forget our office manager giving me the biggest compliment. You are always so professional in your e-mails! NO matter what I do, I will ALWAYS do the following when writing an email (no matter who it is to)

  • A- Greet the person with their first name
  • B- Sign with a thank you.
  • C- Sign my name personally..not with a signature.

This may sound trivial, but it left a positive impression and for that I will always continue to do so.

5- Be confident- you were hired for the internship! They know you have the skills! So step up, send update reports, take initiative with a potential new project, etc. You are there for a reason, not just for a paycheck.

No matter what, remember this- we’ve ALL been there. We were bug-eyed and scrambling for the nearest Wikipedia page to explain what a line item was or an income statement.

Just be confident in your ability to learn….and always have that notepad.

-J

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