Things I Learnt from my First Internship – Part 2

©Georgie Cobbs

A few days ago, I posted Part 1 of this article and promised to complete it in Part 2. So here are my final nine tips that will help you be the intern every organisation wished they had.
(No puns intended, I promise!)

AT A GLANCE

1. Do not take criticisms personally
2. Be calm and listen more
3. Take notes of what you have learnt every day you attend
4. Stop expecting people to compliment you for good work
5. Understand how to take constructive criticisms with poise and work on it for your betterment
6. Continuously learn new (digital/job-specific) skills that you will boost your career as well as for your curiosity
7. Present your documents (graphs, statistics, notes) clearly for easy understanding
8. Thank your mentors for their efforts in giving you work experience
9. Ask for a certificate, recommendation or a reference letter after completion

1. Do not take criticisms personally.

In fact, don’t take anything personally. Since this is probably your first time working in a professional office set up, you will undoubtedly take time to transition from academic mode to working mode. Every single organisation has its own set of beliefs and expectations for their employees. So if you don’t get it right, your mentors will be blunt about it (politely or otherwise). This is the time when you should realise you have stepped into business, it is competitive and requires your results to be top-notch on the go. So if you feel upset over what someone said, don’t take it harshly. Take it with a pinch of salt, mon ami.

2. Be calm and listen more.

There will be times when you feel overwhelmed by different things. Being calm and managing it swiftly is a sought-after quality. So is listening. Listen before you start speaking halfway—not only is it rude to cut in, but you might miss important details.

3. Take notes of what you have learnt every day you attend.

Taking notes (digitally/by hand) is a must when you intern. I would highly recommend keeping a reflective report or journal where you account all the things assigned and learned with the dates. It is easier to go through your work when you have notes taken and can refer back if you forget a process or a task. Also, the best part is—once you are done with the internship, your reflective report will give you in-depth details which you can furnish while updating your CV.

4. Stop expecting people to compliment you for good work.

As a student, you might be used to professors appreciating your work with good grades. In an office setup, work never stops. Hence, good work is always expected out of you. If people compliment you, be grateful. If not, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing a bad job either. As long as you get corrected and complete your tasks successfully, it is a job well done.

5. Understand how to take constructive criticisms with poise and work on it for your betterment.

Constructive criticisms are meant to be taken for your benefit. If no one corrects you while committing mistakes, it means you are not being paid attention to or you simply don’t listen to it (which will put you in trouble later). And while your mentors correct you, understand they want to turn your negatives into positives. Do not get disheartened if something doesn’t turn out in your favour—try to make the best of your situation.

6. Continuously learn new (digital/job-specific) skills that you will boost your career as well as for your personal curiosity.

You can make the most of your internship if you inquire about requisite skills in your profession and start learning. Since most work is now digitally managed, it is important to upgrade your skills continuously. We live in an era where acquiring digital skills is not impossible, and e-learning platforms like UdemyCourseraFuturelearnedXYoutube, etc are right at your fingertips. Invest in learning skills and they will put you steps ahead in your career.

7. Present your documents (graphs, statistics, notes) in a clear manner for easy understanding.

If you are anything like me, then you will understand how dreadful it feels when someone looks at your hurriedly scribbled pages. I genuinely envy people who can make Instagram worthy notes. You don’t need to decorate yours with Stabilo pens and highlighter to make it pretty (high five if you love it!). Your notes and presentations require to be clear, on point and neat. No one likes to put in efforts in understanding illegible handwriting. Use MS Word, MS Excel, Evernote or any other note-taking apps online for better viewing.

8. Thank your mentors for their efforts in giving you work experience.

Now that you have completed your internship, take some time to write down thank you notes to your mentors. Everyone likes to be appreciated for their efforts. Thanking them sincerely with a card or a gift (small potted plant, journal, stationery, books, sweets, etc) is a good way to bid farewell.
(Note – Some organisations may have policies for their employees against accepting gifts. Ensure that you don’t put them in a tricky situation and stick to useful but inexpensive items.)

9. Ask for a certificate, recommendation or a reference letter after completion

Politely request for a certificate, recommendation or a reference letter that proves your work experience. Email by thanking them for investing their time and efforts into your learning as an intern, and inquire if you can get a written document stating the completion of your work. It only strengthens your resume further.

Now that I have imparted my wisdom on being a fabulous intern, I hope you will gather an enriching and skilled experience to showcase on your CV. Bonne chance!

Thank you so much for reading this post. Cheers!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Published by

Shilpa

A closet writer with a knack for adding vivid, witty & personal details. I love coffee, books and food. Highly appreciate lo-fi music and illustrations. Borderline obsessed with stationery, productivity and organisation tools. Always in search of adventures & stories by travelling or being buried in books. Current Status ↠ Striving to finish my Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge. Life Goals ↠ Spark conversations, ideas & inspiration with a cup of mild roasted black coffee.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s