Written by Carly Smith, Assistant Director, Campus Outreach
If you haven’t seen “The Internship” yet this summer, I highly recommend you go. Not only is it hilarious (obviously with cast members like Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell) but it’s a perfect example of why internships are so important. Not all summer internships are like Google’s, and this movie is definitely not based on a true story. However, there are quite a few lessons to take with you that can help you make the most of your current summer internship.
“We’re looking at some sort of mental Hunger Games against a bunch of genius kids for just like a handful of jobs.”
Billy (Vince Vaughn) is right. One of the reasons it is important to take a summer internship seriously is because it can lead to a future internship or even a full-time job after graduation. Many companies utilize internship programs to find students who would make great candidates for their open positions. So, in a way, your summer internship is almost like a really long interview. You will want to be sure you are always making the best impression to your supervisors as well as the employees around you. Anyone at your company who has interacted with you, even in some small way, might be a part of a future hiring decision. At the same time, make sure to reflect on if this is the type of place you’d like to work at once you graduate. Ask lots of questions, get involved, and build connections. There is no better way to test out career fields and companies than by getting this type of direct experience.
“Hey ‘Gossip Girls’, CW called, show’s canceled, get back to work!”
Sometimes when you’re in summer-mode or working with a group of fellow students, it’s easy to forget that you still have a job to do. Of course, have a good time; your internship should be an enjoyable experience. However, like I mentioned earlier, you want to make the most out of your internship and make a great impression on the people around you. This means that you should be focused on your work and timely in completing assignments. Keep yourself organized so you don’t miss anything. You should also challenge yourself by taking on difficult tasks that can help you to grow. Finally, ask for feedback. Not all supervisors may remember to provide you with feedback during and at the end of your internship experience. Still, this information is crucial. By knowing what you have done well, you can further enhance these strengths, and by knowing your areas of improvement, you can find ways to better your skills and make adjustments for future internships.
Stuart: “Our team’s a joke!”
Billy: “This reminds me of a little girl from a steel town who had the dream to dance. She had to sit in that chair and arch her back and she reached up and pulled the chain to nowhere and doused herself with water!”
Stuart: “Flashdance? You’re talking about the movie from the 80s?”
Billy: “Yeah, you’re damn right I am.”
A summer internship can definitely be challenging at times. Maybe you are working for the first time. You are probably meeting lots of new people who have been in the field for a while, and you want to prove yourself. You could even be living in a city you are not familiar with. That’s why it’s so important to rely on those around you for support. Befriend your coworkers, utilize them as resources when you are unsure of something, and take advantage of opportunities to engage with them both inside and outside the workplace. You might not have realized, but you are now part of the workplace team. Enjoy it, and remember… you too are responsible for helping the team to be as successful as possible.