After meeting with Career Services my first semester in college, I quickly learned that beyond getting the degree and receiving glowing recommendations from professors, employers are truly looking for work experience and internships.
Apart from working for my mom, this was my first time entering the work force so my sister and I found one in our favorite city, New York. Here is what I learned over the course of two weeks:
- If you’ve ever worked for a parent or family member, you may be accustomed to a little leeway in your behavior or actions. But the real world is completely different. If you show up late, are dressed inappropriately, or look like you’re about to fall asleep while inputing data, it’s a negative reflection on you.
- Doing an internship in another state is exciting, even if the job, itself, isn’t. Even if you’ve just spent hours wearily transferring contacts into excel spreadsheets, there is no better feeling than bolting out to catch a broadway play, a new museum exhibit, or find an Instagram-worthy place to eat.
- Maybe it’s because I’m a twin, but everything is so much better in pairs. Try to snag an internship at the same place or nearby a friend. Beside always having someone to eat lunch with, you’ll have someone to make your commute a little better. Also your first day will be a lot less intimidating if you’re with someone you know.
- Know where your internship is before your first day and the fastest way to get there. The first trips to and from work we took taxis because we were completely clueless on navigating the subway. It wasn’t until I joked with one of the other interns that we could make a fortune inventing an app that gave subway instructions, that I was informed one already existed! Seriously, Transit NYC is a gift from God, it tells you the next incoming subway and which stops to get on and off from. After work that day and everyday following we used the subway. Not only did this save us money, but it shed 15 minutes off our commute.
- You don’t need to intern for a huge and established company. I learned so much from the start up company last summer. The one I worked for was truly incredible at social media, connecting with their clients, and the boss was amazing. I also got a glimpse in how difficult and rewarding being an entrepreneur and starting a company can be for someone.