Student and Graduate Publishing

What to Expect From Your Internship

Thursday, 10 October 2013 13:27

By Eve Stanger

1. Responsibility: Unlike that work experience you did all those years ago, at a full time internship you are given important tasks. You’re expected to use your initiative to get these done. Participate as much as you can, attend the office meetings at 8am (without yawning) and show new ideas that prove you have something to offer.

2. Lunch time decisions: Every morning you’ll be faced with the choice of a ten minute lie in but having to pay £5 for a sandwich out or getting up what seems ridiculously early to make lunch yourself.

3. Skills: Working an internship gives you a chance like no other to develop relevant skills. These will improve your employment chances across the sector or within the company itself, with some boasting that 90% of summer interns are given full time jobs at their company.

4. Exhaustion: From doing 10 hours a week at university, to nothing when you finish, the daily grind can take a lot of getting used to. After your first week of 9 till 5 don’t be surprised when your Friday night is a nap on the sofa rather than a trip down to the local.

5. Social Media: You’re likely to be appointed to the social media and communications area, probably due to your boss’ lack of understanding about the twittersphere and assumption that as you’re young you’re tweet ready. Call yourself a Social Media Consultant and make the most of it.

6. The Phone: Most interns will confirm that much of their work will involve ringing numerous companies with the exact same message all day long. You’ll be an expert at adopting your best telephone voice and pitching your business in 30 seconds.

7. Connections:  Working in the sector of your choice will allow you to meet a huge pool of professionals who are living your employment dream. These contacts could be useful for you in the future to get a step on the ladder – don’t underestimate networking. Or LinkedIn.

8. Public transport: If you make your way into by bus, train or tube every day then it won’t be long before you notice the stupidity of other commuters.  From the person standing on the left of the escalator to the young girl screaming about her boyfriend down the phone on the number 12 bus home.

9. Proofreading: Don’t assume spell check is always fool-proof, always proofread your own work. When you’re given the 10th piece to check for your boss, don’t complain. Proof reading is an important skill and showing enthusiasm for any task (even re-reading 2000 words on hedge funds or the politics of the EU) is vital to a successful internship.

10. Mistakes: Being an intern is all about gaining invaluable experience and much of this comes from making mistakes and learning from them. Don’t be disheartened if you struggle with some of the workload or working out how to add a pie chart in Edexcel, it’s a learning process.

11. A Mentor:  Many companies will be full of employees happy to help you and offer you advice, make the most from this as this mentor represents huge amounts of experience that you can benefit from. Prove to your mentor that you have new ideas, initiative and a good work ethic. One day they may run the company, make them remember you.

12. Its end: Most internships are only a few months long and as your time comes to an end you will genuinely miss that place, from the days chatting at the water cooler to those staring at a computer screen all day. Leave on a good note, a thank you and with tons of new personal and professional connections in hand.