Getting Ready For Your Summer Internship

As the semester wraps up, it’s time to start thinking about working full-time, if you are starting a new job or internship. Whether it’s your first internship or job, or not, there’s a mental shift that needs to happen after taking classes for two consecutive semesters. Remember, an internship might actually be less work than a full course load because when you’re done with work, you’re usually done with work for the day. Here are some things to ask yourself as you get ready for your summer internship.

  • What’s the best way for me to retain information, whether it’s note-taking or practicing the things you’re taught?
    • You will likely be going through some kind of training or mentoring, wherever you intern. Figure out your favorite way to retain information and stick with it for the whole summer. 
  • How will I break up my day if I’m not used to working full-time?
    • When you’re a student taking classes, even with a 5 or 6 class course load, there are days when you have breaks from being in class. Of course, your schedule depends on what you individually prefer, as YOU make it every semester. During a full-time internship or job, your hours are usually pre-set and less obscure. 
    • Plan on working (typically) from 8AM-4PM or 9AM-5PM in the corporate world. This can be a hard mentality to switch to, so having ways to break up your day mentally is a good idea. For example, maybe you take a few minutes in the mornings to comb through and answer emails. Then, maybe you take a walk or eat outside during your lunch break, if you get one. Maybe make coffee, tea, or another favorite beverage when your day is dragging so that you get to enjoy something!
  • Will I need to work on separating work from home?
    • If you are going to be interning virtually, you will need to have an area from which you work. Depending on your circumstances, this can be in your bedroom, in an office, or basically anywhere where you can fit your working computer and yourself. For WFH tips, read this. When you’re interning or working virtually, however, make sure that you are separating work from home when your last hour of work is done – when your mind is always switched to “work mode,” burn-out occurs really fast.
    • If you are interning in person, a work/life balance is usually a little easier to maintain because you can leave the office or location when you’re done with work. That being said, if you do feel like work emails past working hours are dragging you down, it might be time to evaluate your specific situation and brainstorm ideas on how you can further separate work from home.
  • What’s my plan to network and build relationships?
    • Networking is a huge part of any internship. So is building relationships with your management and co-workers. Whether you’re virtual or not, you need to actively be trying to learn from those around you. You will have responsibilities and will be really busy – so will everyone else. It’s important to show the people you work with that you are putting effort in to get to know them. They will likely return the sentiment!
    • When you begin any internship, you should have at least some kind of plan on how often you will reach out to get mentorship or simply chat over coffee. 
By Alina Minkova
Alina Minkova Creative Blog Curator Alina Minkova