How to Make the Most of Your Internship

Written By: Katie Mogul, ’15

Congrats! You’ve put in the hard work — applied for the position, completed an interview, and gotten an internship! But now, June has come upon you and the work has just begun. Last summer I interned at truTV. I was proud of myself for getting the job, and I knew I was interested in the television business and I wanted to impress my boss, coworkers, and put myself on a route to getting a job. I worked very hard in my internship and when I left for school my boss said that I was one of the best interns he’s had (eek!). Here are rules and advice that I (mostly) followed.

Take initiative.

This is a big one-and I’m sure the first on every other post with this title-but, it is so important. Yes, there were times in my day where I wasn’t necessarily doing work but, for the most part, whenever I had down time I asked people on my team if they needed help with anything (do this frequently enough to be helpful, but infrequently enough not to annoy anyone). Also, every day upon getting to work I would go into my bosses office and ask what he needed from me that day, and when the clock reached 5 p.m., I would ask him if there was anything else he needed before I left. I did this not just to show my face and be a good intern (although, those are two good reasons), but I genuinely wanted to help in any way that I could. This is a good way to leave a lasting impression and learn from your internship. Which brings me to my next point…

Learn, learn, learn!

This internship helps out the company, yes, but it’s more for you! Put yourself out there. I tend to be a more introverted person, so it was hard for me to ask a ton of questions and learn from everyone around me, but try! The people you are working with now are such an incredible resource for you. Also, take opportunities that they offer you! Whenever anyone asked whether I wanted to sit in on a meeting, I always said yes. And, a couple times I got to go to shoots for their shows (opportunities I took even though it usually meant I had to stay late that day). I learned so much from all of these opportunities.

Don’t be afraid of your mistakes.

You’re going to make mistakes. There’s no way around it — you’re an intern. You’re new to the business and company — there is no way to go into a job and be immediately perfect. Your boss doesn’t expect you to be perfect either. There is nothing wrong with mistakes; in fact they are the best way to learn. When you make a mistake, don’t feel down and dejected. Own your mistake. Admit to it, say that it will not happen again, and then, don’t let it. Make sure you make an honest effort to learn from each mistake.

Be friendly!

Get to know people! Wherever you are, you will be stacked with people who want to help you out and know a lot about the business you’re interested in (read: networking!). Ask them questions and just be a friendly face. When you’re winding up your internship, get a list of contacts from the company you worked in. Include their name, email and any other contact information — along with ways to help you remember them (i.e. she helped me with the intern project, he took me out to that great sushi place)! This way, you’ll be able to contact them after your internship is over and you’re looking for a job!

Now go conquer that internship!

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