By: Carolyn Holtzman
Congrats! You've landed a summer internship in New York City! As you pack your clothes and search for summer housing, don't let yourself get too overwhelmed preparing for your first day. We're here to help with our top 5 tips for a successful internship in the city and how to make yourself stand out along the way.
Be On Time, Always
This may be obvious, but the easiest thing you can do to demonstrate that you take your internship seriously on the first day, and every day is to arrive on time. Whomever you report to will be taking time out of their day to get you onboarded, so be sure to show respect and arrive on time. I always suggest doing a practice run from wherever you're staying to the internship location to make sure you know how to get there and how much time to allow yourself on your first day.
If you're also given a lunch break or time to leave the office, be conscious of time and let your team know whenever you're stepping out. Being consistent and communicative shows, you're someone the team can count on.
Remember Why You're There
Sometimes people can forget that internships are a two-way street – you're there to learn and gain experience from the company you're working for, and in return, the company gets another set of hands to help with projects throughout the summer. But the company has run before you arrived, and will continue to when you go back to school in August. That means you shouldn't expect every minute of your supervisor's attention to be on you. There may be quieter periods or times when you're working on more menial tasks. However, if you always show positivity and a willingness to work, you're more likely to be given more responsibility and more trust from your employers.
Don't wait to be assigned projects – be proactive about the type of work you're interested in and what you want to learn. Ask senior staff to explain what they're working on and figure out how you can help. Sit in on client calls to understand how the client relationship works and be an active participant in brainstorms. Go to work events and network and volunteer to help whenever an extra set of hands is needed. You're interning to gain experience, so make sure you get the most of it. Taking the initiative will also show what type of employee you'd be down the line after you graduate.
Also, take advantage of the city you're in! If your internship isn't every day of the week, reach out to other people in your industry or that you admire and invite them to coffee to learn more about their experience. You never know how these connections might help you down the line!
While being on time is the easiest thing you can do to show that you respect the company you work for, gratitude is what will set you apart. A handwritten letter at the end of an internship to everyone you worked with demonstrates you appreciate the time those people took to teach you and that you recognize the time and energy they used to help you grow professionally.
Have some fun, too!
But, don’t forget, this isn't only a time to test run a company or career! It's also your time to test run a city. Don't get too lost in the work and hustle of your internship to remember to have some fun along the way. Go out to dinner, take day trips out of the city, and splurge on an overpriced cocktail- or two!
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