5 lessons from my Silicon Valley internship.
1. It’s ok be to be nervous but try not show it.
The objective of any internship is for you to gain valuable hands-on experience by learning from the people you work with and the project(s) you’re working on. Your managers and co-workers will know that it may be the first or second time you’ve been an intern or worked in a real-world environment so they will do their best to mentor and coach you through any obstacles. That said, you should always put your best foot forward and not be intimidated by tasks that you’re asked to accomplish. You want to prove to your team that you are the right person for this job.
2. Keep an open mind.
You may love your project, or you may not. But what’s important is that you keep an open mind to learning about new things. Don’t gauge your project by the amount of information you can put on your resume. Really understanding the purpose of the project and being able to thoroughly research and execute at the end of your internship is going to be what’s important.
3. Say “Yes” to just about anything.
Whether you’re used to dining with coworkers or getting happy hour with them, this is your opportunity to do it. Say yes to team lunches, tours, events, and happy hours. It’s the best opportunity to get to know your team (and other interns and employees) on a more personal basis. Never eat lunch alone, even if it means you’re the one inviting others. And when you have free time, ask your coworkers if they need help — this shows initiative and who knows, you just might learn something new.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
When you’re unsure of something, just ask for advice. No one will think you’re incompetent for wanting to make sure you’re doing something right.
5. Have fun
As much learning as you will be doing during the summer, it’s also important to have fun. Explore the city, enjoy the nature because who knows, this may be your new home post-grad. Mingle with other interns and learn from their experiences.