Internships – Tips

by Bradley Richardson

  1. Don’t be afraid to talk with people.  Don’t be intimidated because you are a student.  People are sometimes too busy to roll out the red carpet, so you have to make the first move to talk with co-workers and supervisors.
  2. Ask for things to do.  Don’t wait to be told what to do.  Solving problems and taking initiative are the best ways to stand out from the crowd.
  3. Learn all you can about the industry.  Talk with people in different departments as well as clients and vendors.
  4. Read everything you get your hands on.  You won’t find everything you need to know in the training manual.  Reading contract, letters, memos, press releases, trade publications help you become informed on all elements of the business.
  5. Don’t gripe about grunt work.  There is always something more to learn.  How long you do grunt work depends on what you make of it.  Everything has a purpose, so learn how the small tasks fit into the bigger picture.
  6. Milk the fact that you are a student.  As a student you aren’t threatening and can have more access and opportunities than a full time employee.  Everyone wants to help a student learn.
  7. Hitch your wagon to a star.  Learn from the people who are the superstar performers and most respected individuals in the office.
  8. Get in the information loop.  Decisions aren’t always made in a conference room.
  9. Ask to attend meetings and events.  You will learn how things really get done.
  10. Don’t burn any bridges.  You never know when you will see someone later in your career.

Pat’s Additional Tips

  1. Arrive on time to your assignment.  If there is a problem or delay, be sure to notify the appropriate people – don’t assume they will understand.
  2. Provide a firm (not crushing) handshake, good eye contact and a smile when you meet new people.
  3. Work and tasks aren’t boring, you decide to be bored.  Attitude is everything!
  4. While at your internship you abide by the UNCG conduct code at all times.
  5. If you have any concerns during your internship, let’s talk.
  6. Above all, have fun while learning.