8px Magazine
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Get the best out of your internship with these 3 tips

Ok, I secured an internship, now what?

Great job! Getting an internship these days during the pandemic isn’t easy, so kudos to you for getting this far! Here are some important takeaways to get the most out of your internship:

1. An internship is a learning environment.

I know internships can be scary. It’s a huge change going from a school environment to a work environment, so feeling overwhelmed is completely normal! The best thing you can do here is to remember that you’re here to learn. Don’t be concerned that your company expects the same speed & output as someone who has 5+ years of experience. The only real requirement here is that you show up and are eager to learn from your new environment.

A picture of me, working, during my internship at Edenspiekermann
Working hard during my internship at Edenspiekermann

It’s also totally OK to make mistakes from time to time. If companies are open to internships, they are willing to guide you through all of that too.

Oh, and also, you definitely don’t have to do overtime. I got kicked out of the office for trying to do that on my internship once. 😬

2. Be pro-active.

Dare to ask questions. Dare to ask for feedback, and don’t be afraid to give feedback to your new coworkers. Be vocal about what you like, don’t like, or would like to change. You’ll definitely learn much more through pro-actively asking questions rather than waiting for someone to approach you. Want feedback on your design? Ask for it. Are you stuck and don’t know how to proceed? Ask for help. And pitch that amazing idea for the project you’re working on! There are no dumb questions or ideas.

A picture of me doing a presentation for the entire company.
Doing a presentation for the entire company during my internship.

From my experience, people really do appreciate being honest and open. Also, like mentioned above, there’s a lot in there for you too. Not only learning-wise but, if you express what kind of things you like to do or are here to learn more about, you might get projects that fit your interests. Your coworkers might also be trying to figure out what tasks best to assign to you, so without you telling them, you might end up being yet another intern cleaning up files or preparing Keynotes all day. And you’re not here for that!

3. Jot it down!

Storytime! Once I worked on this big project. I got feedback from my co-worker and thought I would remember everything my co-worker said, but then hit the fan running. I forgot to do something, and my co-worker confronted me about it. Needless to say that this didn’t leave me with a good feeling afterward… Since then, I consistently started taking notes.

A picture of people prototyping and taking notes
Picture by Kevin McCutcheon

Taking notes is super helpful to remember everything you need to do. It also helps to keep your mind clear and focused. You don’t have to think about what you need to do all the time. You can just focus on doing the thing.

Try to document things objectively and extensively. Imagine you don’t know anything about the project and you have to start working on it. If other people need to get involved, they easily can through your notes :)

To close off, here’s a little Notion template that might help you with what to write down when you get briefed.

Template: Briefing Notes

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Life, by designers.

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Lotte Bijlsma

Lotte Bijlsma

Digital Product Designer at Made with a passion for analog photography and type.

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