Fear of the unknown. That is sometimes the phrase that captures the essence of a new intern in any new space. You have a ball of emotions in your stomach mixed with a little anxiety, a little self-consciousness, excitement, hunger (not the stomach growl kind), and eagerness. You hope they like you. You hope you like them. It can be gut wrenching, but here are some tips that can help with that transition:
1. Do your company research: So chances are you probably did this before you got the internship, but dig deeper. Look up some of the employees on LinkedIn and find out about other things they’re affiliated with. I promise this will make sense at the end.
2. Write down your goals and visions before you walk in on your first day:This sounds super corny, but it’s like writing a script. Everyone’s going to ask you about your background and where you see yourself and the last thing you want to do is stumble like you have no clue. That 30-60-90- plan? Yea, that’ll come in handy. Read it over in the mirror before you leave. Be convicted in your talents!
3. Write down a list of things you absolutely hate doing or are scared to do: This will help you tremendously. Some great words I got once from someone were “just because something isn’t what you like or doesn’t align with your personal
beliefs, doesn’t make it less valuable”. An internship is about expanding your skill set and bettering yourself. Tap into those things you’re scared to do. Treat those things as muscles you haven’t worked out. In a nutshell, don’t let fear paralyze you.
4. Find a commonality with each person: this ties into the social media stalkingresearching of the people you’ll work with. One of the key things to building lasting relationships is finding a commonality. If you have a little background information, you’ll have leverage to strike up conversation. Keep going it gets better, promise.
5. Listen: No seriously, be quiet and listen. You’ll learn so much from having those informal conversations about people and just letting them tell their story. Not too many people get the opportunity to tell their story and you’ll find a valuable lesson in those stories. When I started Bravo, I got to see the passionate journalist gleam out of our Public Relations Director and I got to tap into the super talented side of our Creative Director by just listening. You can also tell who can give you insightful information. People like that followed their dreams and have the greatest stories.
6. Walk away from your desk: Don’t be the wandering intern that needs an electronic monitoring device, but feel free to take five minutes to talk to people in the office. It will be awkward at first, but remember, don’t let fear paralyze you.
7. Ask questions: People in the office will tell you to ask if you don’t know (or maybe not), but ask informal questions like why this building? What did you do before you worked here? This shows that you are eager to learn more about those that make up the company rather than just resume build.
8. Make your intentions known: I wouldn’t recommend being overly aggressive, but remember those goals and visions? Keep them nearby. If you want help perfecting your resume or want to strengthen your writing, say that. Close mouths don’t get fed. If you added the years of experience in the Bravo building you’d probably have experience the same age of America (OK I’m exaggerating), tap into that awesome resource! When you get the opportunity to sit down with your supervisor spell those goals out so you have something tangible.
9. BE YOU! Who got you here? You did! Being you can add an awesome dynamic to the workplace so let your light shine through (a tad cheesy, but cheesy is good). Smile when you enter and smile when you exit so that you are remaining positive and showing you are excited to be there. It’ll attract positive energy.