I am in the midst of doing my second internship, and I find it going a lot more smoothly than my first. Looking back, I can see why. It was my very first internship and I did not know exactly what I wanted to do, I was terrified. There were so many questions I wanted to ask, conversations I wanted to join, and lunches I spent alone. I was convinced that they wanted nothing to do with me and that every question I asked would be a bother; that they didn’t want me to join their conversations or eat lunch with them. I know it was all in my head, but I let it hold me back. They didn’t have me making coffee or hundreds of copies. I was by their side completing important work. My point is, if they didn’t want an intern, they would not have taken me on in the first place. They knew I didn’t know what I wanted to do, knew I’d ask questions. They want you to learn because you could be the future of their company or their industry. So, ask that question you’ve been dying to ask, tell that joke you heard, and sit right next to them in the lunch room. They are not there to scare you, so be brave. Not being afraid and timid is important because it will help you to be noticed. When you speak up, whether it is a question or a conversation piece, it lets them know you are paying attention and you have something to contribute. No one is going to remember the intern that just went through the motions. In today’s world it’s all about who you know. The individuals at your internship, not just your supervisor, are important to your future. They are a key networking opportunity; take advantage of it.
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