As April turns into May, it’s likely that internship decisions are coming at you faster than you can process them. Hopefully, all of your hard work has paid off and you’ve found yourself accepted to the internship of your dreams. Maybe you’ve been accepted somewhere else but are still awaiting your top choice with bated breath. Or maybe you’ve hit a rough patch this year and have only received offers from places you aren’t overly enthusiastic about.
In any case, you need to prepare wisely in order to make the best of your situation. Here is some advice that applies well to any situation in which you find yourself.
Chances are you’ll be interning at a place that coincides with your academic and/or personal interests. Because of that, you’ve probably gained indirect exposure to the skills and concepts you’ll be using for our internship through the classroom, your on-campus job, or a hobby. Maybe you’re even interning for the same institution for the second or third year in a row!
Whatever situation you find yourself in, keep in mind that even the most menial or administrative of internships offer an abundance of learning opportunities. At the very least, you may be working under a new supervisor who has different expectations of you; adjusting to those expectations is a learning process in itself and a very useful skills for “real life.”
If you’re interning in a field that is your sole passion, curiosity about the internship will likely come easily to you. If you aren’t excited about your future workplace, keep in mind that even the most seemingly boring places have interesting people and stories.
Maybe you’re having a hard time learning a skill but become close friends with someone in an adjacent cubicle. That person may teach you to consider the skills through a different lens or teach it through a more engaging process.
Either way, there are always sources of wisdom you can mine to meet your potential and become more interested in your work in the process.
Learn about your field.
Chances are you’ve parsed your job description while preparing for the interview and did additional research on your firm and field. Or you’ve been combing through your internship packet. If so, you are well on your way to being intellectually prepared for the internship.
If not, use the tools of the Internet, your professors and friends, and your career services office to do more research. If you really are unable to find anything, contact your intern coordinator for details. They’re usually pretty friendly and promptly respond.
Danni Ondraskova will graduate in 2018 from Wellesley College. Danni plans on earning a dual degree in law and business and dreams of working for JP Morgan’s Global Investment Management division.