“You’re the first intern I’ve ever hired from West Chester University. You better make them proud,” said Rich Kiss, executive producer at NBC10 Philadelphia and my boss this past summer.
Imagine hearing those words and the pressure you feel to follow through. It can be daunting, and it can feel impossible. Or it can be the most rewarding challenge you’ve had thus far.
This summer I was fortunate enough to land an internship at NBC10 and Telemundo 62, two major television stations in Philadelphia both housed in one building. If you know me, you know this was a BIG DEAL.
I have been dreaming of interning at a television station my entire college career, and this was the defining moment of my career. I had to rock it. If you land a big-time internship that could lead to a world of opportunities after graduation, here are six tips to make sure you leave knowing you killed it!
Be Open to Everything
I can’t stress this first point enough. You don’t want to be the intern that puts a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Any time a staff member at your internship asks for any kind of task to be done, you do it. If they ask you to answer phones, you do it. Do everything. Go over the top. This is their first indicator that you’re a dedicated intern and that you would make a stellar employee after college.
Become Buddies with Fellow Interns
The other students you’re interning with are in the same boat as you. When I first started my internship, I felt there would be a competitive energy among the other interns, but I can say I truly made lifelong connections with them. We all follow each other on social media and we all supported each other. These are the people who will be thriving right along with you in 5 years. Make sure you connect and stay connected. You never know how they can help down the line.
Make Conversation with Everyone
Something I wish I did more was just talking to everyone. Making small conversation. It’s hard to break the ice, and it’s hard to relate to professionals who might have been in the business longer than you’ve been alive – but still try. They will appreciate the effort, and they will be more inclined to talk to you and help you out in the long run.
Don’t Be Scared to Ask for More Work
Don’t just sit around bored waiting for your boss to come to you with tasks. Make it known that you want to be there, and you want to help! Ask your boss first, and if he doesn’t need anything – ask around! The employees will see you taking initiative and will begin giving you more work so you aren’t wasting your day away.
Always Take Notes
Every time you go to a work meeting, informational, or anything where someone is speaking to a group: BRING A PEN AND PAPER WITH YOU!You need to soak up all the knowledge you can, so you know how the company operates. And who knows? Someone will ask you a question, and you’ll know the answer because you took notes and took time to understand the company culture.
Ask for Feedback
Lastly, I believe asking for feedback from your supervisor and other employees is key. A seasoned professional can be of great help to a college student just getting started. Whenever you complete a task, ask what they think. It can be really helpful in knowing what it takes to succeed.
It may be a scary to go out there and attack the real world at your big internship but take it from me – it’s going to be the best challenge. You will come out of this with great experience, great connections, and even a job! Happy interning!