Wisdom From an AT Intern

By Shekinah Harper, Editorial Intern

At the end of each experience, people tell you to document what you’ve learned, what you disliked and what you loved about that experience.

Instead of keeping a journal throughout the summer, I made a mental note of advice I would give to the next intern or any intern dealing with the anxiety of making a good impression in order to move forward in their career. This internship is the end of my summer, but the beginning of my career and I am passing down wisdom I received from my editors to you:

  1. Being a morning person is a choice. For those not used to waking up earlier than noon, find something that makes you happy and do it in the morning. Coffee is a good start. Every morning will bring something different so be prepared and remain positive.
  2. Come dressed to impress. One of the first piece of advice she gave me is to dress everyday as if I am coming to the office to impress someone and in reality that’s the overall goal.
  3. Prepare to feel awkward. When you’re thrown into a new environment you might feel uncomfortable. It’s an adjustment coming into an office that’s already formed a bond but you have to make yourself feel like a part of the team. Learn what your supervisor likes and what they dislike by talking to them a little every day and a bond will naturally form. If all else fails and you work in an office full of women, just talk about hair.
  4. Do your research before you begin. No one likes to know they hired someone who knows nothing about their company. It shows them you’re just interested in having a job and not the success of the company. At the very least study their website. Before I started, I began making notes in my head on possible website improvements, what they published, etc.
  5. Get ready to hear ‘No.” This is one of the first things my editor said to me. You’re an intern, you’re not the scum of the earth, but you are starting at the bottom of the company. You’re purpose is to gain experience and to prove to the company that in the future, if you choose, you are a good candidate to hire. Some companies use interns as secretaries and if that’s the case still push your ideas. You will feel better knowing you tried than knowing you stayed in the background.
  6. You’re lucky to have this job and they are lucky to have you. This is an experience, whether you love it or hate it. It is still an experience. Don’t complain or constantly remain negative if you find out it’s not the career you want to pursue because you just might need your supervisor someday (like for a recommendation).

Look at your internship as a life experience. You learn, you make mistakes, you grow and you move on.

 

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