It’s your first day at your dream internship and besides drowning in a mixture of excitement and overwhelm, you can’t help but feel completely clueless. I know because just six weeks ago I felt the same concoction of fear, hope and confusion as I sat at my desk on the first day at Shank Public Relations Counselors.
The feeling does go away, I promise, however, your attitude for the duration of the semester is determined by your outlook. Don’t expect to gain respect and a fabulous recommendation if you aren’t willing to try hard and put in the necessary work.
After a month at Shank Public Relations Counselors, I’ve learned that key to success is passion. If you want to make your internship the best and are having trouble developing a passion for your assignments, my suggestion is to treat it like your favorite hobby. If that means you’ll be comparing your internship to exercising, reading or even playing an instrument, then so be it! After all, you should enjoy your work!
With any hobby, and also in your internship, make sure you apply these three habits to reach your fullest potential:
- Practice, practice, practice: As with anything, if you want to further develop your skills, practice is the best solution. In an internship, you’ll be introduced to a ton of different projects and be asked to use programs that you may have never even heard of. Don’t fear. Stay calm and Google. Utilize your resources to learn that new skill or program, and then continue to experiment until you’ve mastered it. Malcolm Gladwell, author of the “Outliers,” professes that in order to be an expert at anything you must repeat it 10,000 times in your lifetime so it’s best to get started now!
- Network: You never hesitate to chat up people who share your other passions, so why not connect with those in your field of study?! Don’t be afraid to approach peers who are doing internships similar to yours and ask them about what they’ve got going on. You may even learn something you never knew before and could incorporate into your own internship.
- Keep it fresh: When you first develop a hobby, you start at a beginner’s level then move up to moderate and soon you’re on expert! As you become more skilled, you try new things to challenge yourself within your hobby. The same applies to your internship. Always try new things and ask for new projects.
So, it may take more work than riding a bike, but as long as you keep a positive attitude and open mind, your internship will be just as fun.