How to Rock Your Summer Internship

By Alyssa Laffitte on June 6, 2017

Summer is here! Meaning, it’s time for your summer internship to begin. Internships can be nerve-wracking, especially if it’s your first one. But at the end of the day, it’ll be a fun and valuable learning experience. Here are some tips for a successful internship.

Do your research beforehand

It’s a great idea to read up on the company before you start your summer internship. If you can, read about your boss or your department. Even doing a quick Google search and reading the company’s “About Us” page will be helpful.

This will not only impress your boss, but it’ll make your life easier because you will start your internship with at least some knowledge of what you’ll be doing. Bonus points if you come up with questions to ask your boss about their work.

How to Have a Successful Summer Internship

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Carry a notebook

Although it may seem nerdy and old-fashioned in this digital age, carrying around a notebook will help you a lot during your summer internship. Especially on the first few days, you’ll have an information overload. You’ll be bombarded with policies, procedures, and more. You can write down this information in your notebook so you can refer to it later. You should especially write down things you might forget. You’ll thank yourself when you need to look up a piece of information and it’s written in your notebook.

Ask questions

Again, especially during the first few weeks of your summer internship, you’ll have an information overload. The best way to not overwhelm yourself with all this information? Ask questions when you don’t understand something. Don’t be shy about asking! They won’t expect you to be a pro. Most bosses consider asking questions a sign that you care. Also, it’s better to just ask for help or for clarification than to mess something up. So if you’re ever confused, don’t make life harder for yourself. Just ask! (More on “information overload” in this article!)

Go above and beyond

Have you ever heard the phrase “go above and beyond?” It means to do more or better than is typically expected. This is a great principle to live by during your summer internship. Don’t just do what is expected of you, do more. This will score you major points with your boss and your colleagues. For example, when you finish your work, you can ask, “Is there anything else I can do?”

Another great way to go above and beyond is to stay at the office later than you’re scheduled to, if necessary.

Socialize with your colleagues outside of the workplace

It’s a great idea to build friendly relationships with your colleagues. Inviting them to lunch or for coffee is an easy, non-awkward way to start. You don’t have to be best friends with your colleagues, but it’s nice to have a good enough relationship that you feel comfortable talking with them. Keep in mind that although you want to be friendly, you must still remain respectful and professional, even outside of the workplace (at least when you’re still getting to know each other).

Be on time

Being on time is simple, but it’s so important. Growing up, I was always taught that punctuality is a sign of respect. If you respect someone, you’ll arrive on time, if not early. Show your boss and colleagues you respect them by arriving on time.

Toward the beginning of the summer internship, it’s especially important to be on time to make a good first impression.

Find a mentor

It’s convenient to have a mentor at your summer internship, especially if you’re working in your field. Your mentor should be someone you admire and want to emulate. They would be the one to help you if you’re in a sticky situation. You can ask them anything if you’re confused. They would write you a recommendation letter for graduate school or for a job. They might even put in a good word for you if you want to work in that place in the future.

Learn the office culture, and behave accordingly

Every office has a unique culture/way they do things. Picking up on the “culture” can be a challenge at first because it takes time to learn how people act in the office. How do people act and talk? Is it more formal or laid back? How do they dress? Then, adjust your behavior accordingly. For example, if you see your colleagues wearing high heels and blazers, then please do not show up wearing denim shorts, flip-flops, and a t-shirt.

Stay in touch after the summer internship

One of the worst things you can do after a summer internship is to cut off contact with the people there. Don’t neglect the relationships and connections you’ve made during your internship. As I’ve said earlier, they might be able to write you a letter of recommendation or help you land a job.

After the internship, send your boss a thank you email. A few weeks later, update them on what you’re doing. Visit if you can. With summer internships beginning, it’s good to keep these tips in mind to ensure you have a smooth and productive internship experience.

What are your tips for a successful internship experience?

22, ISFJ. Biology student. College lifestyle blogger. Avid reader and writer. Dog lover. Nerd. Boyband enthusiast. Superhero in training. Here to help you become the best you can be!

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