A summer internship is an amazing opportunity to network, and the connections you make can help your career for years to come. However, you have to treat it like an actual job, whether or not you’re getting paid. Here are a few things to avoid so you don’t make a bad impression — because, ideally, you want to get hired after this!
1. You never speak up. If you have an awesome idea, run it by your supervisor. The more you contribute, the more of an asset you’ll be — and the more likely you’ll get hired at some point.
2. You speak up too much or out of turn. Sometimes, you have to know when to shut up. Don’t criticize anyone else until you’re CEO.
3. You throw others under the bus. Whether it’s another intern or a full-time staff member, learn to handle things properly. For example: An intern at my company sent an email putting a full-time staffer on blast for supposedly not including him on required emails. It ended up not being true, and now that intern burned a bridge with an influential staffer. The best method, at least to start, would be to address the issue privately.
4. You don’t network enough. You want to make a lasting connection with your supervisor, but be friendly to everyone else, too. Say “good morning” and “good night.” If you have downtime, offer to help others if your supervisor is OK with it. Be indispensable!
5. You network too much. If you’re too busy palling around while you’re supposed to be working and don’t get your tasks done, you’re not going to make a good impression on anyone. People talk!
6. You resent your work. Of course if you’re interning at a fashion mag, you want to go on shoots and get free stuff, but sometimes you’ll just be getting coffee for meetings. You’re an intern! Embrace it as much as you can. The better job you do at the little things, the more likely you’ll be offered bigger things.