By Kate Miller
Congrats! You landed a summer internship. I don’t know about you, but my eyes were so firmly set on landing an internship that I felt like I hadn’t slept in months. When I finally landed the perfect internship, I was excited but nervous. What do I do now? What do I do when I get there? How do I plan?
With five weeks to go before I leave for Washington D.C., I need to figure out my clothing situation, housing, food and transportation while I am simultaneously studying for finals, scheduling fall classes and balancing extracurricular activities. I want to be the best intern, but how do I do that?
I decided to look into what other interns have done to navigate a cross-country internship experience. Here are five tips to plan for a summer internship adventure:
Make sure you calculate the amount of money you are going to be making and how much housing costs. In D.C. housing takes a large chunk out of my paycheck. Make sure to account for taxes and budget for food, coffee and transportation as well. Wally is an excellent app to help plan and track your expenses and set savings goals. Budgeting is crucial so you can have some leftover money to explore a new city.
2. Work Hard
Now that you have landed the internship, show them why they chose you. You have learned various skills in school that will help you, but a lot of what you will be doing you will be learn on the job. Make sure to come in early and stay late, show them how much you want this internship and how great of an employee you would be. You never know who they know and how it will help you find a job when you graduate.
3. Soak it up
Your supervisors will have a wealth of knowledge to learn from, so take the opportunity to soak it up. You are in the “real world” and have the chance to test out your chosen field, see what you like and see what you don’t like. I am taking a journal with me to write down some of the fun things that happen so that when I am looking for a job next year I have something to reference to help me decide what type of place I want to work.
4. Be positive
Employers notice. Make sure you always take the tasks you are given with a smile on your face. Do every task with a positive attitude and always go the extra mile. This will make your experience a lot more fun, and it will make your relationship with your supervisors better.
You have a full staff of people doing the job you want to do one day. Take the opportunity to network. Spend time getting to know the other interns because one day they could be working somewhere where you want to work or vice versa. Make a goal to take one person out to coffee per week and get to know them. Learn about their track and how they got to the company. Ask for feedback and learn from the advice they give you.
Remember, you are an intern and you are not expected to know everything. Be excited! This is going to be an amazing summer of learning and experiencing new things. They chose you for a reason. Congratulations, and good luck at your internship.