From Classroom to Cubicle: Summer Internship Advice

This summer, college students across the country are exploring new frontiers as they embark on their first look into the real world with an internship. If you’re one of them, this is an exciting and nerve-racking time, so a little advice can go a long way. Below are a few tips to help you navigate your new position and make the most of this exciting endeavor.

Let being a small fish in a big pond inspire you.

It can be intimidating to go from lounging in your dorm room to sitting in a corporate meeting, but experiences that push you out of your comfort zone are essential in sculpting you as a future professional. Whether interacting with executives or simply tackling internship tasks, make an effort to find ways to stand out and make an impression with a strong work ethic and a can-do attitude. Embracing the new environment, trying new things and saying “yes” to any challenge will prove to both yourself and those around you what an asset you will be in the future.

There really IS no such thing as a stupid question.

What is often considered one the of most trite sayings on the lips of college professors and parents can prove to be very true, especially when trying your hand at a new job. Being well informed is always better than just sitting silently, confused about your position, how the teams around you work, or even what button to push to work the copy machine. You’ll never learn what you want to know if you don’t speak up and ask.

Your co-workers are your most valuable resource.          

Believe it or not, a quick lunch meeting with a co-worker can offer more insight than any 300-page introduction to your major that you read in a classroom. These individuals can offer up career experiences that will provide valuable insight into what you really need to know to be successful along your career path. While they may be your superiors, they too were once sitting in your same uncomfortable intern shoes, so don’t be surprised if they are more than willing to answer your questions

Read up, Millennials.

As a Millennial, you have the opportunity to put your digital obsession to work and become more knowledgeable about your chosen industry. Put a few Buzzfeed lists aside each day and look up news that is pertinent to your company. Use social media for more than just selfies by tracking trends and getting involved with industry conversations. Google may not lead you to becoming an industry expert, but it never hurts to become more aware.