10 Things You NEED to Know Before Starting Your Internship

Internships mean serious business. Don’t eff it up.

By Daniel Camilletti

Starting your career can be exciting, but getting your foot into the door through an internship can sometimes be scary, especially if it’s your first gig in the real world. Here are 10 things you need to know before starting your internship. It could mean the difference between shantaying and staying — or sashaying away.

Prepare to Dress for Success

Getting dressed for any occasion can be stressful, even more so when starting a new job. You don’t want to be that one person wearing a blazer when all of your coworkers are dressed in jeans and t-shirts — or vice versa. Before walking the runway on your first day on the job, ask your internship coordinator about the typical company dress code. #allfashionmatters

Make Sure to Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask your manager for help. Whether you’re asking about the lingo that sounds like another language or even just asking where the bathrooms are, your manager wants to see that you’re engaged and that you care about learning. #nosuchthingasstupidquestions

But Don’t Ask Too Many Questions

Asking a lot of questions is great, but when you’re given a task, don’t be afraid to do something wrong. As an intern, it’s not the end of the world to color outside of the lines. In fact, approaching something from a different angle is exactly what will get people to notice you.#permissiontofail

Be Nice

Make sure you say “hi” to everyone, even if you don’t think you will need to work with them. There is absolutely nothing awkward about introducing yourself to someone and asking them what they do. In fact, they may give you a project that is a perfect opportunity to showcase your skills! Don’t be that person that can be referred to as the “rude intern,” but rather the “outgoing intern.” #meanpeoplesuck

Use Your Resources

Whether it’s free food, gym access, or computer software, use your space and company resources to your advantage! For instance, my work laptop has a lot of software that my computer at home isn’t powerful enough to support, so I constantly have been learning new skills in order to make myself more useful in the workplace. If you can’t think of anything to do, ask your manager and they will probably tell you about some good tutorials/exercises with a program that you may not be as familiar with (such as Illustrator or PhotoShop). #queensonabudget

Make a Routine

New jobs, new cities, new buildings, and new people can all create a sense of anxiety. There’s nothing better than making lists, lunch plans with co-workers, gym schedule before/after work, etc. This will keep your mind clear so that you are able to focus on your work. AND ALWAYS BE ON TIME. #werkitout

Set Goals for Yourself

Never get too comfortable! Most likely, there’s something about the company (or yourself) that you didn’t even know you wished you knew. Find out what that is, do some research, and set a few goals for yourself to accomplish by the end of your internship term. If your goals are appropriate, share them with your manager/internship coordinator and maybe they can help you realize them! #reachhigher

Work With Your Fellow Interns

Yes, an internship is about getting ahead in your career, but it doesn’t need to be a competition. Make plans to hang out with your group, go to the park, grab lunch together, see movies on the weekends, and (if you’re 21 and over) go to happy hour! If you’re working on a project and need a second opinion before handing it in, ask for another intern’s opinion and collaborate. #bettertogether

Get Involved

Find out if your company has an Employee Resource Group that you identify with, or a sports team such as volleyball or softball, or even a Soul Cycle squad. Connecting with your company in ways other than work is a great way to network and build relationships with other people in the office. Your new office best friend could be three floors down and you didn’t even know it! #wheremypeopleat?

Have Fun!

All work and no play makes for a dull intern. Let your personality shine through and remember to have fun! #internwithpurpose

Click here to learn more about the internship program at Publicis Health agencies.

Daniel Camilletti is a 2016 creative intern at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness in New York, a Publicis Health company. He studies architecture and film at Tufts University (Class of 2017). A native of Canada, Daniel has played hockey since age 4. His guilty pleasures include Pretty Little Liars and Ben & Jerry’s Cake Batter ice cream. Visit Daniel’s website, DanielCamilletti.com.

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