1. Your first internship doesn’t need to be your dream internship
Some college students put pressure on themselves to land dream internships at large, competitive companies. Remember that even an internship at a small, lesser-known company will still provide you with great learning experiences.
2. You do not need to know what field you want to go into
Some college students know exactly what field they want to work in, which is amazing! But other students have no clue what field they’d like. Sometimes landing an internship means learning about what you don’t enjoy so you can narrow down your options.
3. Your first internship does not have to be paid
At first, I only wanted a paid internship. I didn’t see the point in working for free. The truth of the matter is, you’re interning for the experience and not the money. An internship will hopefully lead to a paid job, so it ends up being worth it. Plus, you can always get a side job in the mean time if you need to.
4. Don’t worry about the unknown
Your first ever internship might seem scary because you won’t know exactly what you’re doing until you get there. Just take a deep breath and realize that it’s all a learning experience. No one will get upset if you make a mistake, I promise.
5. Put your best foot forward
Since some internships do not pay, you might slack off if you feel like you’re receiving nothing in return for your hard work. The payoff for your hard work, however, will come later. If your boss sees you as a great worker, you’ll get a glowing recommendation letter if nothing else. Your internship can even lead to a paid job at the same company.
6. Try going out of state
Sometimes, it’s hard to find internships in state. Many college students will live with relatives or live in college dorms in a state far away from their hometown, due to better internship opportunities. This is especially true for students that come from small, quiet towns.
7. Stay positive
Internships do not always work out, and you might end up hating your first internship. This is OKAY. Just stay positive and remember that it’s all a learning experience. No one likes a negative attitude.
8. Make connections
One of the most valuable aspects of having an internship is making connections with the people you meet. You never know who has other connections to jobs that you’d want in the future. You have something to learn from everyone, so take advantage of your time as an intern.
9. Take notes
One thing a lot of interns regret is not taking notes while on the job. You might forget small but important things you’ve learned each day, and then the information goes to waste. Try writing down the important experiences you’ve had and lessons you’ve learned so that you can’t possibly forget any of it!
10. Don’t let the pressure get to you
Last but not least, do not feel pressured to go get an internship. Although internships can be important, you do not need to have one as a freshman or as a sophomore in college. You do not need to do what everyone else is doing. Just do what feels right for you, and you will find your path, no doubt about it.