I believe gives you the opportunity to learn new stuff, meet new people, explore new places. Many a times such internship converts into PRO, Call Back or some wonderful contacts that you can use later. However, many a times we end up messing it up maybe because we are not aware of the work culture or some stupid mistake on our part. How do you avoid screwing it up?
Be all ears. Listen to every word that is being spoken to you. People who are assigning jobs to you are as sure as hell busy. They don’t want to waste their time in repeating what they are saying because<!–more–> you are not paying attention. If you miss something important they told you, you are surely going to screw up the work given to you. The person who assigned you the work will hate you for that.
Audrey McLaughlin said, “When you listen, it’s amazing what you can learn. When you act on what you’ve learned, it’s amazing what you can change.” Listening carefully would certainly “change” the quality of the work you do.
2. Cling to a Pen and a Notebook-
Pair up your ears with a pen and a notebook. Write everything you hear. It not only avoids annoying your boss by going to her again for the points you missed or forgot but will help a lot when you start working. An intern who carries a pen and a notebook with her is way more trustworthy than one who brings just herself.
3. When Confused, Ask-
If there is something you didn’t understand- don’t hesitate in asking a question. It’s better to ask for a clarification than to commit an error. Generally, when you are assigned any work- you are working under a time constraint. you can’t afford to mess up your work by assuming things or misinterpreting the instruction given and then enter into a time crisis.
5. Clarify and ask-
these are the golden rules to follow in case of any sort of confusion.
6. Show your Curiosity-
Showcase your curiosity to learn stuff, volunteer where there is such opportunity. Show that you are mentally present and loving it.
7. There is no getting away with things-
Nobody cuts you slack in an internship- even if they do, assume that they don’t- as it leaves a bad impression in either case. Don’t think- you can get away with coming late to the office, facebooking when you are supposed to work- and all the other techniques you plan to adopt in order to dodge the work. Making a puppy face may save you from scolding, but will certainly not save your professional reputation.<
8. Smile like Sun Shine-
Don’t try a poker face. The expressionless face is simply annoying. Also don’t try lost puppy face, nobody is interested in knowing the story behind your long lost face, even if it resembles the story of Marlyn Monroe. Just Smile. Be positive. There is nothing more to it.
9. Be at Ease-
You should be friendly, sweet and nice. I know it is easy to say but when you are tensed, out of place or under-confident – your work and your relationships at the workplace suffers. You have to gather yourself and portray a picture of happy + confident you. Try to get over the influence the place has on you. Start with the basic principle of smiling, and being at ease.
10. Distinguish between polite- friendly/ hey-I’m-your-buddy-friendly/ I’ll-lick-your-feet-friendly-
Now once you are at ease with yourself, don’t go over the board. Don’t entertain the idea of sucking up to someone, you might think that by being extra super sweet, you will earn some brownie points but as a matter of fact, you earn an impression of being a total cling-on case. At the same time, don’t let the idea of being pally take over you. Just because you don’t need to be a neurotic edge intern, you are not going to treat your boss like your best friend.
The idea is that you don’t need to make your boss the next superman (don’t suck up) or your best friend, an angel in disguise. Be polite and friendly but remember that she is your boss. There is a very thin line between all the three attitude you might exude in your behaviour, learn to distinguish and follow the right course.
11. Branch Out/ Network-
The internship offers an excellent opportunity to meet new people, make “contacts”- something much sought after in law school. Build a good rapport with your colleagues, boss- good enough to contact them when you need any help. Don’t forget to keep in touch.
Hope this post was helpful. Feel free to share your internship experiences in the form of comments below.