More tips from interns

My last post came from research on internships conducted by folks at CNN. After I published that, I recalled some similar research of my own. Several years ago, at the very end of the semester, I asked my students to send me tips that they wish someone had shared with them at the beginning of the semester. It was a voluntary assignment, so not everyone complied, but in re-reading it, I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve seen–and it echoes some of the contents of recent posts. Here’s what those students of mine had to say:

Student #1

  • Be self-motivated.
  • Collaborate with and befriend other employees.
  • Have fun.

Student #2

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Be open to advice.
  • Be prepared.

Student #3

  • Manage your time.
  • Meet your deadlines.
  • Be proficient with software.
  • Be a self starter.
  • Plan your schedule around others.

Student #4

  • Stay focused and do your job.
  • Don’t expect anybody to pick up any slack.
  • Try to impress your boss.

Student #5

  • Get involved as much as possible.
  • Don’t wait for someone to ask you—look around for work to be done and offer to do it.

Student #6

  • Have an open mind.
  • Be ready to do all the tasks, even the ones that aren’t “glamorous.”
  • The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.
  • Take risks.

Student #7

  • Jump right into things and be aggressive about what you want out of it.
  • Talk to professionals in the field you are writing about to learn the language and procedures.

Student #8

  • Be up front about your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Let them know what you want to do, but be willing to do other things.
  • Have fun with your writing.