If you are like me, when you finally get into the city for your internships and you think that it’s going to be just a walk in the park, it may not necessarily be. I’ve been working as an intern for UCHICAGO INTERNSHIPS for about two months now, and after two months of being immersed in this company, I feel confident enough to give some tips on how to make your internship more manageable.
1. GET COMFORTABLE IN YOUR JOB
Take it from a girl who didn’t know how to accessorize, when you first start off in an office environment, it can be pretty daunting. My first week on the job was a nightmare. I was naive to certain work practices, and I made so many mistakes that I doubt I will ever forget them. But eventually, as you settle in and get more comfortable with the job responsibilities and your coworkers, it gets easier. Although you may have started off shaky at first, by the time your internship ends you will feel much more accomplished than if you had only stuck out the first few weeks before quitting .
2. GET YOUR PARTNER ON THE JOB
This is a very important step in your internship. The first year that I worked at UCHICAGO INTERNSHIPS, my co-worker ended up being horrible to me. She was always coming in late, taking care of things that she didn’t need to or not at all. All of the intern duties that were left for her ended up being done by me, which became too much to handle. As a result I didn’t get much work done and ended up leaving a month before my internship was supposed to end. The last year I worked there, I had a different internship. We ended up getting along very well and were in sync with each other’s work styles . This made our individual time better as well as the time that we spent with each other.
3. GET THE NEW STUFF TO HELP YOU IN THE OFFICE
I know that everyone has their favorite pens, paper clips and even filing cabinets. I know for a fact that any office will have the standard issue staplers and paper folders, but it is also good to be able to bring in little things that make your job easier. For example, I found that using sticky notes is a good way to remind yourself of things. If you’re out of pens at your desk, it’s really easy to walk down to another desk and borrow one from them. As long as you aren’t a stickler for having everything specific and in order, it won’t be bad for you.
4. GET TO KNOW THE PEOPLE THAT YOU WORK WITH
This can be difficult for certain people because not everyone wants to be the center of attention. But getting to know the people that you work with can help speed up productivity in the office and also prevent mistakes in the future by knowing all of their names correctly . I know that as an intern it’s not common to make a lot of friends, but if you can make a few good relationships with the people that you work with, you will be able to have a good time when something goes wrong and they can help you look up any errors that you may have made.
5. GET THE RIGHT PEN FOR THE JOB
I remember the first day I got to my office. Since there was no one in my section at the moment, I brought in all of my paraphernalia with me, including pens and notepads. After a few hours of trying to use them when someone finally arrived in my section, they all were garbage. Instead of sitting there and trying to use garbage on them, I spent a dollar forty five for a new box of pens and it made my day go by just a little bit more smoothly. Make sure that you have good writing implements with you because sometimes sloppy handwriting can lead to mistaken ideas.
6. GET YOUR MENTOR ON YOUR SIDE
This is the person that is assigned to you when you are first starting out in your internship or an entry level job at a company. This person is usually someone who has been around longer than anyone else, and they know how things work as well as how to handle certain situations. This person can help you through the process of learning how to do things and make you feel comfortable.
7. TAKE IT EASY
This is by far my most important advice that I have for those of you working in office environments just starting out. There will be times when it is hard to keep up with things, and there will be times when it’s not easy at all. But what I found works best for me is to take things one at a time. If you can get one thing done in a day, chances are that you will be surprised with the amount of work you have to do the next day. But all the other advice that I have given, feel free to use as much or as little of them as you wish.