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:
- Be self-motivated.
- Collaborate with and befriend other employees.
- Have fun.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Be open to advice.
- Be prepared.
- Manage your time.
- Meet your deadlines.
- Be proficient with software.
- Be a self starter.
- Plan your schedule around others.
- Stay focused and do your job.
- Don’t expect anybody to pick up any slack.
- Try to impress your boss.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.