Fall internships are just as useful as summer internships, as long as you plan ahead.
By now, just about every college student knows the importance of holding an internship. It seems like everyone’s hyper-focused on what’s become seen as the all-defining summer internship — the summer months where all of the internship guides, cover-letter writing tips and office style recommendations make their debut.
But once fall classes near, many students turn their focus to two things: studying and tailgating. Do not be misled. Fall semester is a prime time to get your professional footing. Jot this down in your overpriced notebook and be sure to maximize your fall semester internship. You may need these reminders come finals.
Don’t forget about summer.
Yes, I know we’ve covered that summer isn’t a means to an end, but it’s a pretty good start. If you did solid work at your summer internship, reach out for a letter of recommendation so that you have a better chance of landing a fall position elsewhere. It can be intimidating, but the worst they can do is say no. If your recommendation request is denied, make sure you ask why your work wasn’t satisfactory and how you can improve.
Finalize your schedule.
Class load is probably one of the first things your internship supervisor will want to know about that extends beyond the office. Have your class schedule locked down when you sit with them to determine how much time you’ll be spending on the job. Don’t be the intern with the ever-changing report times because you decided to change your anthropology lecture four times in the first two weeks.
Which brings me to my next suggestion…
Keep it real.
Well, keep it realistic anyway. Because you’re taking on what will probably feel like an entry-level position at an unfamiliar company on top of a full class load, it’s important to have practical expectations of what you can actually accomplish. Remember that you’ll be faced with a regular exam schedule, student organization obligations and social life temptations. Know what you’re signing up for.
Plan a lot, live a little.
There is no such thing as over-planning in a position like this. As a student intern you might be juggling your unpaid gig that you’re hoping pays off, your part-time paid gig that you need to pay the bills, a few campus positions and classes. Take time to schedule how to optimize every moment of every day. Putting tasks in your iCal, Google Calendar and the desk calendar buried beneath your laptop may seem excessive, but there’s no room for forgetfulness when your career could be at stake.
Be sure to schedule some relaxation time in there, too. Yes, putting “watch mindless TV” in a planner is lame, but it will save your sanity.
Summer interns shouldn’t get all of the fun; there are plenty of trends to work into your office wardrobe in the fall as well. Check out the suggestions from your favorite September issues often times geared toward young professionals. Make daily challenges of going from classroom to boardroom, and then help all of your friends that will be following your stellar example in the spring do the same.
Powered by Facebook Comments