By Lottie Smalley
When I landed a role interning at a boutique public relations agency in New York City for the summer, I was under no impression that it would be glamorous. Internships are hard work. You have to dress up, show up, and never give up. Here are the top five things I learned during my time in new York.
1 – Lose the Expectations
Mocha runs, counting product stock, making copies. Sure, you might get coffee for the team on occasion, but often times you will be thrown into bigger tasks that you just have to figure out. It’s part of the experience, and it’s how you learn. It is also how you show that you can handle those more significant tasks.
2 – No Assumptions
Do not- I repeat- do not assume anything. It is so much easier to ask a seemingly “dumb question” just to double check, rather than make an irreversible mistake. If you’re shy, this can be hard, but your boss doesn’t expect you to know everything. Sometimes they just forget you may not have taken classes that covers that task yet.
3 – Be Organized
This one may sound obvious, but even if you are an organized person, it can be easy to forget about an email, lose track of a note, or misplace directions. I brought a notebook to work everyday where I made my to-do lists for the day, took notes, and wrote literally everything down so I had it all in one place. This way I could find things quickly, and remember when I accomplished tasks when asked. Come up with a system that works for you on day one!
4 – Ask Questions
Take advantage of the expertise at your fingertips! Open and clear communication is the key to a solid internship. Seriously, nothing is off limits… I mean except for maybe some existential crisis question or something you could easily google. Let them teach you the tricks of the trade, be inquisitive, observe, and learn something new everyday.
5 – Network and Stay Connected
This is a big opportunity to meet new people, network, and get your foot in the door. Make an impression on everyone you meet. Have a business card ready. Sometimes the connections you make over the summer can lead to a another internship, finding a mentor, or even landing a future job. Keep up with your new friends, coworkers and employers — you never know when you’ll need their help again…or when they’ll need yours!