10 Ways to Succeed at Your Next Internship

10 Ways to Succeed at Your Next Internship

Author: Haley Walker, Creative Director

Internships are harder and harder to earn these days. We say “earn” because internships are basically the same process of a job interview and they pick the best candidates. Making mistakes as an intern is inevitable, but don’t fret – we are here to help! Here are ten common mistakes interns make that you should avoid in order to succeed at your internship.

  1. Not “Replying All” to emails. One of the most common mistakes interns make is not responding to everyone who received the original email. When other team members are CC’d on an email, it is for a reason. Getting in the habit of almost always replying all before entering your internship will make you appear less novice.
  1. Being late. As if it isn’t obvious, do not be late during your internship. Whether it be a content shoot or virtual meeting, be sure to practice how long it may take for you to arrive prepared before your first day to avoid any problems. 
  1. Being too afraid to ask questions. With the combination of nervousness and stress, many interns tend to be too scared to ask for clarification. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and share your concerns when appropriate. It’s likely that the company would much rather you ask for clarification than complete the task incorrectly. Trust me!
  1. Questioning your voice. Your voice matters. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, it is crucial that you contribute to conversation and team brainstorming. Even if you feel that your idea is subpar, it could open the door for a better idea. Pushing yourself to share your ideas will not only impress those around you, but help you grow as a professional. Speaking your ideas can also be a major deciding factor when it comes to the company letting you go, or bringing you onboard post-internship.
  1. Poor communication. Having great communication skills will be one of your greatest assets in the professional world. It is important that you create open communication with your team by letting your manager know when your workload may become overwhelming or school work is heavier than usual. Being able to communicate and work together on prioritizing your tasks is extremely important. 
  1. Missing “deadlines.” Working in a virtual world it isn’t uncommon for bosses to assign tasks and forget to provide a deadline. Even if you were not given a deadline, it is important to ask for an expected date so that you are not called out for leaving the task unfinished for too long. It’s unlikely that your idea of when that task should be completed is the same as your boss’. Just ask!
  1. Poor Zoom etiquette. Working in a virtual environment may be less intimidating, but doesn’t mean you can slack off. Be sure to be mindful of everyone’s time and avoid interrupting others on Zoom. In addition, take the time to ensure your camera, microphone, and any other equipment are ready to go at least 10 minutes prior to any meetings.
  1. Not being proactive. If you are an efficient worker who completes tasks fairly quickly, do not just wait around for another task to be handed to you. Be proactive and come up with projects you’d like to work on that benefit the company or ask around the office to see if anyone else is in need of a hand. This is a GREAT opportunity to impress those around you.
  1. Not taking notes. Another common mistake most interns make is forgetting to take notes. If you are present during any meeting, it is important that you take notes regardless of if you’ve been asked to or not. You want to avoid the panic of trying to remember what everyone said when your boss asks you for the notes at a later time. 

10. Poor grammar and spelling. Poor grammar and spelling can be such a small mistake that leaves a lasting negative impression. The last thing any boss wants is to have to correct something as basic as spelling and grammar. Freshen up on your spelling and grammar and don’t be afraid to have other teammates double check your work in case. 

Now that you are well equipped to impress at your next internship, don’t forget to apply to be a #PREMtern this Summer or Fall!