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*** I’m married! And now I’m honeymooning! WOOHOO! While I’m drinking out of a coconut with my new hubs and making my lifelong dream of swimming with dolphins come true (catch it all on Snapchat – @ erica_lig), my FABULOUS intern at CUR, Sarah, will be taking care o’ business. She’s got some AMAZING content in store for you all this week, so stay tuned and be sure to leave her some LOVE in the comments section!! Lovelovelove, E ***
Written By: Sarah Hanlon, Coming Up Roses Intern + Bosslady Extraordinaire
Congratulations! You scored your dream internship. What do you do next? Preparing for your first (or any) internship can be intimidating at best. You can watch The Devil Wears Prada every day or read all of the internship how-to books you can get your hands on, but you can never fully be prepared for your first day until you show up at the office. As a first time intern myself, I quickly learned that while every internship will be different, there are a few universal Do’s and Don’ts to get you started. Understanding these will get you on the track to success, and they’ll be more likely to get you even more internships in the future. Sounds like a #win to me, amiright?
Do: Dress the part
If you’re interning for a fashion magazine, then you best show up to the office dressed in at least one current trend to show that you’re aware of what’s going on in the fashion world. If you’re interning with a financial company on Wall Street, then you might want to forgo the floral off-the-shoulder romper and opt for something a little more office appropriate. It’s true when people say dressing the part gets you halfway to your goals. Not only will a put-together outfit show that you take your job and your appearance seriously, but being dressed in an outfit tailored to your internship will show your boss that you’ve done your research and you know what it means to work for their company.
Don’t: Be afraid to communicate with your boss
Every boss is unique, and you’ll have work a little differently with each one. Whether your boss acts like your mom, your best friend, or Miranda Priestly, communication is a must. If you’re confused about a task, ask for help. If you’re looking to take on more work, ask for it. If you’re looking to get career advice or help, ask for it. The point of an internship is to learn and grow as a young professional, and your boss will understand that. They truly are there to help you, and if you openly communicate with them, you’ll have a much better experience than if you just close up around them because you’re scared to talk to them. Remember, they’re people too!
Do: Be willing to take on new tasks
When I started my internship with CUR, I wasn’t sure what exactly I’d be doing, but I can tell you this – I didn’t think I’d be writing guest posts. Taking over someone’s blog is kind of a big deal, and I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t a liiiittle nervous. But, just because you’re scared of something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Say yes to every single opportunity thrown at you, because you really never know how they might help you in the future. Also, saying no just looks pretty bad.
Don’t: Hold yourself back
This is for the ladies who let self-doubt creep in far too often (and I know we are all guilty of that once in a while). If you have an internship, you got it for a reason. Know that if your boss didn’t trust you or believe in your capability, you wouldn’t be there. It’s all too easy for us to let our minds hold us back from being the successful lady bosses we know we are. Instead of focusing on the girl in the cubicle next to you or worrying that you aren’t good enough, believe in yourself and don’t let your insecurities hold you back from earning your success.
Do: Own up to your mistakes and show how you’re going to fix them
Let’s be real: we all make mistakes. We’re human. And when we’re in an internship position, the LAST thing we want to do is make any kind of error. I’m telling you right now, you will mess up. It’s okay to make a mistake (because how else would we learn??) but what’s NOT okay is not owning up to it. The last thing you want to do is start firing off excuses as to why you messed up. Instead, acknowledge what you did wrong AND show that you’re going to fix it. For example, CUR has a specific language (one that the loyal readers recognize + love). When I wasn’t completely understanding it, I asked Erica what was wrong, how I could fix it, and I asked her to proofread my interpretation of her style to be 100% sure I wouldn’t make the same mistake again. Your boss understands that mistakes will happen, but to really make a good impression, own up to your wrongdoing and make an effort to show you’re truly trying to make it better for next time.
Don’t: Wait to be given tasks
This one’s a biggie. While it’s nice to have your work given to you in an extensive and detailed document, that’s not always how it’ll be. Often, the most successful interns are the ones who find tasks for themselves. That’s not to say you have free range over your assigned job, but it won’t hurt to ask your boss, “What else can I do?” or “Do you have anything else you want me to work on?” Or, if you notice your boss follows a specific routine, start mimicking that to show that you’re detail oriented. Not only will doing this prove your ability to multitask, but it’ll show your boss that you’re interested in your job and you’re committed to making the most out of your internship.
Do: Go above and beyond
This one is self explanatory, ladies. If you want to leave a really great impression (which you should, obvi) do MORE than what is asked of you. Ask for an extra task. Tell your boss you’re willing to take on more. Get your work done before it’s due. Do what ever it takes to prove that you truly want to learn as much as you can from your time as an intern, and not only will you impress your boss, but you’ll give yourself a better experience than if you just do the bare minimum. It’s the ? to a successful internship (and you’ll NEVER regret going above and beyond).
What internship do’s + don’t’s would you add to the list?
We’d lovelovelove to hear from you. If you’re already a graduate and have been through the internship ringer a time or two, drop a few tips down below in the comments for the collegiettes in the house. And if you’re a college gal (or heck, high school gal, too!) with some Q’s for your own next internship interview or experience, leave your questions down below for other bossladies to answer for ya!