What To Expect From Your First Internship
by Mila Kalajdzieva
Are you about to start your first internship? Do you know what you’ll have to do there? If not, don’t worry because we’re here to clear up any misconceptions and set the record straight. Even though the types of tasks vary exponentially from industry to industry, the gist of internships is the same everywhere. Check out our list of things you’re most likely to encounter during your first internship.
Although internships come with a myriad of benefits, interning for the first time can be daunting. What will you do? Will the boss take kindly to you? Will the employees help you with your tasks? These are all valid questions, and that’s why we’re bringing you a list of things you should expect in your first internship. Strap in, and let’s begin!
Limited work tasks
If you think you can just waltz on in the office, and your boss will entrust you with the most sensitive company information and tasks, we’ll stop you right there. On the contrary, as the junior-most employee there, you’re bound to end up with the most low-level administrative tasks like scheduling appointments, filing reports, data entry, fetching coffee, or answering the phone. But don’t let this demotivate you because everyone has to start somewhere.
Since this is your first internship, you’re probably not looking to stay in the company long-term. Therefore, your boss will likely involve you in short-term projects you can complete before your internship ends. Additionally, you probably won’t be leading any of these projects or playing a very significant role. However, remember that it’s still a great learning experience to observe how employees complete their tasks, even though you’re not directly involved in them.
Taking the sidelines
Piggybacking on the previous point, expect that you’ll mostly be spectating during your first internship. As we’ve already said, your managers won’t give you an overwhelming amount of work. After all, your primary role is to learn how to do the job. However, just because you won’t take center stage doesn’t mean you should be utterly uninterested in what the job entails. Use this opportunity to process the company dynamics and envision yourself in a higher position in the future.
Meeting different people
In your first internship, you’ll be meeting a lot of new people. And no, this isn’t the same as when you met your university friends. Instead, you’ll be in the presence of professionals in your desired field. Therefore, this is an excellent opportunity to network and make a good impression on your future colleagues. Be open-minded and approachable so that people enjoy being in your presence and remember you as an extraordinary and reliable worker. Trust us; your professional relationships can make or break your internship and subsequent career.
Failing… a lot
Just because you’re doing great in your theoretical studies doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be exceptional at your practical job as well. On the contrary, you’ll encounter countless failures. However, that shouldn’t derail you from your ambitions because, in order to succeed, you need to experience both ups and downs. Moreover, failures can be great learning opportunities as there is no better way to learn than through mistakes. Trust that you’re on the right path, and remember that your colleagues are not judging your inexperience and lack of knowledge. After all, if you’d already done the job, you wouldn’t be an intern!
To wrap it all up, future interns should bear in mind that the first internship can be challenging. In fact, it might be the most difficult experience you’ve had to face up until then. However, these hardships will all be worth it in the long run when you’ve achieved what you’d set out to do. Then, the feeling will be priceless!