How to Intern like a Rock Star
Originally published: 25/02/2020 16:51
Last version published: 14/04/2020 14:19
Publication number: ELQ-87510-2
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How to Intern like a Rock Star

Learn how to make the most of your internships and impress your employer.

Introduction

This is a reprint from Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill it in Your Career. Rock Social Media. By Aliza Licht. I’m publishing it because many students are about to begin their summer internships, and I want them to have the most valuable experience possible.

When you enter a real work environment for the first time, especially as a college student starting an internship, remember why you want to be there: First and foremost, to learn real marketable skills that can enhance your resumé and to secure a strong referral from your supervisor. You do not go about getting these things by thinking, “Oh, I’m just an intern, so this experience doesn’t really matter.” Too many people make the mistake of thinking that since they don’t “really” work somewhere, how they present themselves isn’t of consequence. On the contrary, how you present yourself matters more because you’re trying to prove yourself and break-in.

By the last day of your internship, your boss should be begging for you to stay. She should be saying things like, “What are we going to do without you?” That is a lasting impression. That is a reference nailed.

  • Step n°1 |

    Dress the part

    The more you can dress to fit the office culture, the easier it will be for people there to visualize you as part of the team. Now, here’s where you start panicking that you don’t have the money to shop for new clothes. Listen: Shop thrift stores or borrow from friends. When my sister and I get bored of our closets we swap wardrobes. It feels as gratifying as shopping! If you can afford to, invest in accessories. A quality shoe or handbag is much harder to fake. When in doubt about your wardrobe, wear black. Black doesn’t make mistakes. Be mindful of the cuts: The office is no place for strapless or cleavage. Miniskirts can also be a no-no. You’re not stupid so you don’t need me to tell you this but… don’t dress like you’re going out clubbing. Guys, for you the advice is different. For some reason, men underestimate the importance of a clean, pressed shirt. Don’t dress like you’ve just rolled out of bed. A sleepy outfit can give the impression of a sleepy mind.

    How to Intern like a Rock Star image
  • Step n°2 |

    Investigate your employers beforehand

    Google the names of anyone you know who works there. Study them and memorize who they are. There’s no excuse for not knowing who the CEO of a company is—when you end up in the elevator alone with him, you don’t want to mistakenly ignore him. If you can, it’s also smart to examine your future coworkers’ body language in photographs; are they really smiley and having fun or are they serious and stiff? If they’ve been quoted anywhere, what did they say? What do people say about them? Think like an investigative reporter and come up with a few takeaways as to what the tone of the office might be like.


    INSIDER TIP: Know the players or you won’t know how to play the game.

    How to Intern like a Rock Star image
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