It’s crazy to think I’ve been at my internship almost eight (!!!) months now. I still remember getting my acceptance email and practically jumping for joy (it was, after all, my dream internship). Now that I’ve been there long enough to experience a ton, I’m ready to share some tips!
To give y’all a bit of a backstory, I started my internship in October of last year (Fall of my junior year) but because I was working while I was in school, I worked really weird hours. I usually would work half days on Mondays and Wednesdays and full days on Fridays (I was lucky and didn’t have any Friday classes). I loved going to work, but what I didn’t like was not being able to be completely immersed in work. This sounds like something a total workaholic would say but I wanted to be able to squeeze everything I could out of this internship. Fast forward to this summer, I’m working 40 hours a week, and I love it.
However, I realized it wasn’t until just recently that I felt like I had come out of my shell. Which was 100% my fault. I feel like if I had followed my own advice 9 months ago, I would have been a lot more immersed in the company. What is that advice, Emma? You ask. Well, kind reader, I’ll tell ya!
Do Everything You Can
When I say this, I mean never say no (Except for drugs. Always say no to drugs hehe.). If people are going to get drinks after work and invite you, say yes (even if you’re not legally able to drink, go and socialize!). If your office is having an optional party, go and talk to people! You’re usually not going to make friends at a job if all you’re doing is working. But if you interact with your coworkers in different situations, you’re more likely to bond.
Talk to Everyone
This is my biggest downfall. I’m usually pretty shy when I first meet people and it takes a while for me to feel comfortable enough to talk to people. However, I’ve seen some of my coworkers do this so well. If you’re standing next to someone waiting for the microwave at lunch, introduce yourself and ask them their name and position! You might not remember them (you’ll be learning tons of names) but they will feel like they know you when they see you around the office! Even if you don’t have time to introduce yourself, something simple like a “Good Morning!” to the receptionist when you’re walking into the office in the morning will make others associate your face with friendliness.
Eat Lunch with People
Similar to my first point, lunch is an important part of the workplace culture. Whether everyone brings their lunch and sits in the break room together, or everyone goes to the burger place next door, tag along and meet everyone! This is a perfect opportunity for small talking and bonding with your coworkers. If you’re feeling bold, ask a different coworker each day/week to get lunch with you. I can almost guarantee that if you offer to pay, they’ll say yes, because who doesn’t like free food and talking about themselves?! No one, that’s who.
Do Good Work
This one should be a no-brainer for any employee, but it’s especially important when you’re a newbie. By doing good work, you’ll get a good rep with your boss(es) who, if you’re lucky, will talk about you to other employees. If more people know who you are, they’re going to make you feel included! Especially if they know you’re an asset to the company.
I am absolutely loving work and although after 9 months I’m finally feeling like I’m out of my shell, I totally could’ve expedited that process had I done a few more of these. I know it can be hard, trust me, but doing these things right off the bat will help you come out of your shell and truly enjoy your work experience!
Let me know if you want to know more about my internship, I’d love to share more!