Beginning an Internship

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How many college readers do I have?  Hopefully a lot!  Well this post definitely will relate to you as most of you, if not all of you, have internships this summer.  Well, I begin mine tomorrow.  Excited? Yes.  Scared? Yesser than Yes.  Yesser isn’t a word but go along with it.

I am so so so nervous to start my internship tomorrow.  This summer I will be helping launch a company that is based out of NYC.  My job?  Get it launched the correct and most popular way.  By popular I mean I will be heading up the marketing end, specifically the social media aspect.  I’m talking launch parties Manhattan style…red carpet and all.

What to wear, what to say, and what to do are all questions that are running through my head like wild-fire.  Thankfully going to a business school has prepared me so well for all of these questions.  I know exactly what to wear, exactly what to say, and exactly what to do…I just have to remember them.  So I figured I’d write a quick post about those answers.  You know, in case there are any other college girls like me who are freaking out!!!!

Knowing what to wear can be extremely easy or extremely hard.  If you are working in a corporation setting the answer is so easy-business professional.  Dress like a serious woman!  A full suit is definitely needed in an instance like that; and for any of the skirt-wearers, don’t go above the knee but if you have to, don’t go more than an inch.  You have plenty of other days and nights to wear your short skirts that flaunt those legs, but when you’re standing in Microsoft’s headquarters, nobody is even looking at your legs.  Now, let me backtrack and talk about how deciding what to wear can be extremely, and I mean extremely, difficult sometimes.  Like my internship…great!  As mentioned before I am helping launch a company this summer.  Tomorrow is my first day and I will just be at the owner’s house talking things over with her to make sure we are both clear on the happenings of this summer.  Okay so I won’t be sitting in an office…I can go into business casual now.  I definitely don’t want to show up in shorts and a t-shirt, but I also don’t want to show up in a full suit and have her dog get hair all over me.  I wonder if she even has a dog.  Business casual is a much better option when you aren’t sure how far you should go or how little you should go.  You can dress up business casual or dress it down as much as you would like but tomorrow I am going to do a little bit of both.

I am throwing on a skirt, oxfords, a blazer, and dressing it up with jewelry.  I think it’s the safest way to go.  You want your employer to know you are serious, a great presenter, and an even better looker (well if you’re going to be talking face to face with clients).  Next to money, self-presentation and first impressions are everything in the business world.

Next, what the hell am I going to say?  Well I will definitely re-introduce myself with a firm handshake and big smile when I enter her house.  From there I may add in how excited I am and how I can’t wait to show her everything I have prepared.  Try and practice your speech in front of your mirror, you don’t want to have marbles in your mouth when you’re talking to a possible future employer!  You also don’t want to seem nervous, because maybe they’re nervous too!  Make the environment as relaxed as possible.  While getting everything set-up talk about your ride there or heck, even the weather.  Speak professionally.  Use those big words but don’t sound too smart.  You never want to appear better than your boss unless the situation asks for that.  I once had a job where appearing better than my boss was so easy and natural…it was also the most awkward job of my life as it was so hard to not tell her she is doing everything wrong.  Lesson learned-dumb yourself down if needed.

Lastly, what to do?  If you are able to prepare information or work before your internship starts, definitely do.  It’s a sure way to show the employer how serious you are and how driven you are to get this company further than it was before you walked through the door.  Sure there are internships where your day consists of getting coffees but if that’s what it will be then you better learn how to make a damn good coffee beforehand.  Even if it doesn’t make the company better, everyone will remember that intern who made those delectable coffees.  Duh: everyone will remember you.  Luckily, I know I will be doing a lot of marketing and social media this coming summer.  I came up with an outline of a marketing plan and I learned a little about some social media networks that I hadn’t known before.  This company wants a blog and will not use anything but WordPress.  It’s not a problem now, but a few weeks ago I was still using Google’s Blogger.  Do I miss it?  Yeah the customization was endless!  But now I have moved onto WordPress so I can learn how to use the tools this company will be depending on.  I am no pro yet but I have definitely learned a lot…and so far love it!

Knowing what to wear, what to say, and what to do honestly differs across every job, situation, and opportunity.  It’s not easy being an intern-you aren’t sure if your best is the company’s best..scary.  Walk in with confidence, positivity (that’s not a word either), drive, and appeal.  That will land you the job afterwards.

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