5 Tips to Rock Your First Internship

Congratulations! You’ve scored a great internship and are laying the foundation for your future as a professional. Internships are a great way to gain hands-on experience and increase your chances of finding a full-time job. Here are some tips to help shake the first day jitters and rock your internship:  

1. Be Prepared 

Do your research before you get there. Read up on the company’s purpose, history, and culture. You should also explore the industry and industry buzzwords. If you want to, you could also ask your supervisor for any reading or pre-work you should do before your first day! 

2. Show Your Commitment 

Show up to work on-time and be sure to get all your work done by the deadlines. Be sure to ask questions if you have them and express your enthusiasm and motivation for learning. It’s imperative to communicate your interest in your work. You should also ask your supervisor for feedback on the projects you work on. Doing this will give you areas to focus and improve upon so that you can make the most of your internship. 

3. Network 

Remember, an internship also offers you the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from people of different age groups and backgrounds. So be sure to introduce yourself and try to meet everyone in the office (or at least your department). Not only will this give insight into the way your company works, but you might also pick up a few extra projects along the way. Who knows, you may even find yourself a mentor too! 

4. Seize Opportunity 

Ask your supervisor about tasks you can work on when you don’t have anything specific to do. Take on the mindset that you want to contribute as much as you can before you leave your internship. By asking for more responsibilities, you may land a project that you can highlight on your resume and promote in future job interviews. By seizing each day, you will be able to keep yourself busy and set goals for yourself. 

5. Give It Your Best 

Doing the best you can is the most important rule when completing work-related tasks. By jumping into each task with everything you have, you are more likely to do a good job.  

By the end, be sure to thank your employer for the wonderful opportunity! Hopefully, with these tips, you will leave your internship with a valuable experience that taught you about the workplace and allowed you to forge relationships with professionals. Be sure to keep in touch even after the experience is over! 

How to Pick a Career (That Makes Sense For YOU)

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re trying to figure out how to pick a career that makes sense for you. Sometimes it’s easy to listen to the noise everyone in your life has been telling you… “Be this”, “Do that”, and everything between. The only way you can truly know is by asking the right questions, getting your hands dirty, and trying some career options through a part time role, internships, shadowing, and more. Consider asking these questions when deciding which career makes sense for you!

What are the pros & cons about this career choice?

Like anything, you’re likely to face some positives and negatives regarding your decision. Above all, you career should reflect your core values. Positives will seem like “wins” to you, while negatives may seem as though you may be sacrificing something in order to work there. Be sure to evaluate the pros and cons from your perspective, and if the positives outweigh the negatives, you’re likely going to find more joy in the career you choose.

Is there a work/life balance?

Sure, we spend a HUGE chunk of our week at work, but you can’t forget – it’s not your whole life. Know how much personal time you need when looking into a career and take note of this when you are experiencing the work/life balance in the job.

What does your schedule look like?

This goes hand in hand with the aspect of work/life balance because many careers go beyond your typical 9-5 workday. This makes total sense because you’re not a workhorse and you deserve some time to relax every day! A great example of a demanding workflow is that of a nurse or firefighter; an 8-hour shift is simply not in their description! When you make a career choice, consider the hours you’ll need to work. Does this align with the lifestyle you’re hoping to achieve?

Is location important?

Short answer: probably. You want to have a real moment with yourself and consider your geographic preferences when talking about location and what it means to you. Some careers are more widely available in larger cities, while others can be found anywhere! This is the best time to be real with yourself on the kind of lifestyle you’re wanting to achieve so you can enjoy your environment.

What are the educational requirements?

Most careers are going to require some extent of training and educational background in order to qualify for the role. Consider your time and money as an investment. Will this investment help pay the bills AND make you happy? If considering a formal education for the role, keep in mind of the options to pay back any debt you take on while earning the necessary credentials.

When you’re exploring your options, it’s important to gain multiple perspectives and really take into consideration what’s important to you. It’s normalized these days to change careers throughout a lifetime, so never forget to keep an open mind and stay true to YOU!

Match Your Career Goals to Your College Major

As a college student, it’s okay if you don’t know exactly what you want to do after you graduate. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the options before you, we get it. You’ve got so many choices, and no idea where to start.

Work Backwards

You’re not alone. In fact, we recommend figuring out which career you want, and then shaping your education based on those dreams. That way, when you’re ready to go out into the world and start looking for a job or internship, you can focus on refining the skills that will help get you there—not just finding something that sounds good on paper.

If you want to be an astrophysicist but didn’t take physics in high school, don’t let that stop you from pursuing your dream! Just take the classes that will help give you the skills you need.

Consider Time and Money

Let’s be real, education isn’t cheap! If you’re hoping to save some money while earning a potential degree, consider saving some cash by kicking off at a community college and transferring later. If you’re interested in attending graduate or medical school, we love that for you! Just consider the cost and be sure to really research some options for financial aid.

Visit Your School’s Career Center

Meet with advisors who will help identify skills and interests that are related to specific fields of study; discuss ways in which those skills can be translated into job opportunities; learn how different majors prepare students for certain careers; determine what educational or professional requirements exist before entering a particular field of study; explore options available within each major; and explore options outside of each major that may lead toward career goals.

Find your fit and focus!

If the first step of choosing a career doesn’t work for you, then focus on the fit of your major. Take note of how you feel during different classes. Do you see yourself doing this type of work in the future? Trust your intuition; do you have an overall sense of ease or belonging when it comes to your major? Reflect, and adjust accordingly!

Matching your major to your future career is all about setting yourself up to achieve your dreams and aspirations. No matter where you are in this process, keep these steps in the back of your mind. Though we encourage you to contemplate these big questions about your future, don’t let it stress you out. You will figure it out, we promise!