Time to be professional and make those connections!

In the context of preparing for one's future career, internships are one of the most important parts of the college experience. But sometimes it's hard to know how to get ready for one. Here are a few tips for people who are starting their first internship!

1. Get Yourself a Planner

Balancing an internship with classes and a social life can be hard. You have to make sure you’re on top of your assignments, study for tests, and make sure you’re on time for your internship. One of the first things to buy when you secure an internship is to buy a planner. In the planner you should keep track of when your classes are, the days you’re interning, your assignments, and club meetings. This will help you stay on top of your work while you’re trying to make a good impression at your internship. 

2. Buy Professional Clothes

Making yourself look like a professional is important in an internship. You want your peers to be able to take you seriously and look at you as a hardworking employee rather than an intern. Before you begin your internship you should ask your boss what the dress code is for the office. From there you can go out shopping for a couple of outfits that you can rotate for the days that you’re working. By outfits that are comfortable to work in, stylish, and don’t make you look older than you really are. This will help you maintain a professional appearance while remaining youthful. 

3. Set Goals

Know what you want to accomplish by the end of your internship. Set a few goals for your internship that you want to discuss with your boss. It can be as simple as attending a pitch meeting or asking to take on a larger project towards the end of the internship. Professionals love to see interns who are willing to learn and show initiative to take on bigger projects. It will help you gain more skills in the long run and will help you build a relationship with your boss. 

4. Know Your Travel Route

Many interns are commuters and it’s so important to know your travel route and be on time. Being on time or even early shows that you care about your internship and that you’re ready to work. A few days before your internship, map out a main route that you will be taking and a backup route in case something goes wrong. If you’re taking a train make sure you know about parking options, car routes to the train, and at least two train times that you can use to get into work on time. This will help you be prepared for work and prevent you from getting flustered if something goes wrong.

5. Be Enthusiastic

Be excited about your internship! Employers are always happy to see an intern who is excited to get the work done. Ask them questions about things they are doing and about new projects you can take on. The more you show your enthusiasm, the more likely an employer will want to give you more tasks and be willing to hire you again. 

Do you have any tips for interning?

Internships are super important and it's difficult to know how to get prepared for one. Let us know what things you learned from your first internship in the comments below.

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