So you’ve landed your dream internship (see how to get one in Part I, here), and now it’s time for you to take it to the next level! Internships are all about gaining experience and building your professional network, but let’s be real: who can survive on an intern budget forever??
Now that I’ve had a few internships under my belt, I’ve noticed what has made the difference in the interns that actually got chosen for the real gigs and those that simply did their time. I’d like to first begin by saying that no internship is guaranteed to turn into a job; but if you’re ahead of the game, you at least have a chance of moving up in rank or getting a recommendation for another job in the future.
Here’s my advice:
1. Be HUMBLE & Be LIKABLE
Believe it or not, these two things go a long way! As an intern, you should be ready to work and not feel like you’re too big for any duty. Your task might seem small, but if you do it efficiently and with a positive attitude every time, it will be noticed! Come in with a smile, say hello to higher ups that you walk by, and don’t be afraid to allow your personality to show. Keep it professional, but don’t be a vegetable — people are always more likely to hire people they genuinely like.
2. Treat It Like A Real Job
Remember that you are making an impression! Being prompt and taking your duties seriously will show your superiors that you mean business. It will also make it easier for them to imagine promoting you. Take note at how the employees at your workplace handle themselves. Don’t lose yourself, but follow suit and of course, dress the part!
3. Always Volunteer
If your supervisor says, “Can anyone do…?” be the one to speak up and do it! Of course, you can only handle so much, but being the go-to intern shows that you can be counted on.
4. Think Employee, NOT Student
It can be pretty intimidating to work with someone that you admire, but try to handle the situation from the mindset of a fellow working adult. My biggest regret at Cosmopolitan magazine was that I treated the internship just as a student would. I still made lasting connections, but I didn’t understand the value of office small talk (when appropriate) or carrying myself with the confidence of someone that knows they have what it takes to get the job done. My good friend, Alysia De Maio, was friendly with all of our superiors, she was the reliable go-to intern, and she was an overall pleasure to be around. She also spent as much time as she could with the magazine, and now she is the fashion assistant for Cosmopolitan and Seventeen!
5. Ask For Advice
After you’ve built relationships, take advantage of them and ask for help! When I was a Beauty Intern at Hollywoodlife.com, I made it very clear that I was seeking employment. My transparency allowed them to come to me first when the fashion director was leaving town for a month and needed a freelancer to fill her position, and this ultimately turned into a full time gig.
Transitioning into the real world can be scary, I know! But hard work really does pay off. If you have any questions about navigating the unknowns of internships, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to help 🙂
Stay Pretty & Work Your butt Off! ❤
— Kindra Mone’; CoFounder of PABPG