Welcome to the inside of my head.

1. Keep a pen and notepad with you at all times. You never know when someone will give you something to do.

2. If you’re stuck on something, give it a decent attempt. If you’re still struggling, note down your questions precisely as well as what you’ve already tried so you don’t have to keep pestering people.

3. Note down the names of people you’ve met eg Harry Potter and a memorable trait eg. lightning bolt scar. You don’t want to go through the awkward ‘erm what’s your name again’ conversation.

4. Respond to emails quickly. Often people are waiting for your response before they can move forward. Don’t keep them waiting too long.

5. Put your email sign off eg. Kind regards in your email signature. You will get tired of typing it.

6. Constantly inform people what you are doing. They like reassurance that you haven’t forgotten about their work. In fact you shouldn’t be alarmed if you spend more time informing people of this than actually working.

7. Always make a note of where you found any facts and figures. You will cry if they ask you to find it later and you’ve forgotten.

8. Implement checks in your work wherever possible. This will prevent follow through mistakes which are annoying to fix.

9. Say ‘yes’ to any work given to as long as you have enough time to do it… and even if you don’t. You’ll be surprised how much you can reshuffle to make time.

10. Make a comprehensive list of your tasks and how long you think they’ll take. But also keep a Post-It of immediate tasks in your direct eye line so you are constantly aware of what needs to be done.

11. People care a lot about the appearance of documents so make it look pretty. I got commended in my final review for adjusting the line spacing so that everything fit neatly onto one page. ย Such a minor detail and it got noticed. Thank you OCD.

12. Ask people questions. It makes them feel knowledgeable so do so even if you know the answer. If you’re feeling brave, subtly mention the answer and they’ll think you’re clever.

13. Facebook stalk other people in the office and find out what they’re interested in. You’ll find it easier to talk to them.

14. If you can think of a better way of doing something, discuss it with the person who gave you the job. DON’T just jump into it. Some people are surprisingly touchy if you drift even a little from their instructions.

15. Wherever possible, get feedback on any work you’ve done. It’s a good way to learn and get more work as well building a rapport through the correspondence.

16. If you have the option to speak to someone rather than email them about something important, speak to them. Things are far less ambiguous when you talk directly.

17. Take regular breaks and stretch your legs. It’s good for your concentration. This doesn’t mean you’re wasting your time. Do the coffee round or plan your lunch and meetings in such a way that you’re not at your desk for hours and hours.

18. Food is the best way to butter up your colleagues. Cake always goes down a treat, especially if it’s homemade.

19. Do not let people get away with giving vague instructions. Pester them if you have to. It will save you a lot of time in the long run.

20. It’s always better to ask for help than to struggle in vain.

Over and Out!

Comments on: "115. 20 things I wish I knew before I started my internship" (11)

  1. These all look pretty good, although with #9, I would have to adjust my habits quite heavily. With homework I take way longer than an hour at times making it look just right, and even when I’m not being a perfectionist I take ages. ๐Ÿ˜•

    • Haha! Going into it I thought I wanted to minimise my workload but when you start, you find that you actually want as much work and as much variety to learn as much as possible. Your habits will switch very quickly!

      I do that work with my work too- adjusting the line spacing and font size and even bullet point shape so that it looks perfect. I’m sure I end up spending more time on the formatting than on the content!

  2. This is a really good list!

    And number 13 made me laugh (for obvious reasons..) ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. Did you forget “Get paid for your internship”? ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Reblogged this on My Internship and commented:
    Perhaps don’t agree with every single point but generally a good guide ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’d be interested to know which ones you disagree with – I know I was surprised by a few of them too. I should also add that they’re quite specito my internship which was office based and where lots of people were continuously giving me things to do.

      • Heya, that’s just me being super picky! It’s only minor things I picked up on: Saying yes to any work given even if you don’t have the time- I think you always have to make sure you a realistic in what you can deliver so don’t take it unless you know you have the time, it is important to be able to say no to certain people and tasks (basing this on time management training I have had) otherwise people will think they can off load on you. Facebook stalking colleagues is also one I am not sure about, it’s one thing wanting to take an interest but there are less sneaky ways of doing it I’d say it’s an unwritten suggestion that you’d fb stalk someone perhaps? See…told you I was just being picky ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • They’re both valid things to be picky about.
        Saying yes to things: I found that I was guilty of turning down work because I thought I had enough for right now, and later I’d find that I had nothing to do. So by saying yes earlier when I thought I didn’t have time actually would have been good for me.

        Facebook stalk: lol I’m using the word ‘stalk’ here quite care free. I don’t mean learn their children’s name etc. I found out that my line manager was a foodie and it really helped me talk to her initially. In that sense it was helpful.

        But yeah I don’t want people to take what I said the wrong way so I may edit this post later.

      • It’s OK, just one persons opinion! I wouldn’t have reblogged it if I thought it wasn’t any good! I think they are all good things to pass on to people and obviously everyone has their own experiences interning in an office! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Iโ€™ve nominated you for some awards! Feel free to take them or leave them. The instructions are hereโ€ฆ http://coatechnophile.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/rise-of-the-awards/

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