Summer 2015 saw me land myself a 3 month internship before going into my final year of university. Internships are such a great way to gain experience working in a field that you quite fancy seeing yourself in. I was fortunate enough to find myself a paid internship after 6 months of searching and applying. For me, my summer internship really put things into perspective and made my mind clearer about what I wanted to do with myself.
I know it’s only January but for those who are studying, it’s time to start thinking about summer and job opportunities. If there’s any way you can take a summer internship, whether paid or unpaid, I would thoroughly recommend it! I learnt a fair bit, even silly wee things that are probably common sense to everyone else. So I thought I’d share with you the 4 main things that I took away from my 12 week internship.
Firstly, you don’t need to ask if you can go to the toilet. Yup, this happened, I stupidly asked to go to the toilet on my first day. Smooth. Apparently we are adults and don’t need to ask to use the toilet. This got many a laughs.
Prioritise! Prioritising is very important and especially with tight deadlines and little time, it just needs to be done! Even taking 10 minutes out of your day to write down everything you need to do for the next couple of days and number them in the order you’re going to do them, with the most important coming first! This can help lots, especially if something unexpected comes up.
This is okay, these things happen. All the time. You need to learn to deal with unexpected situations, although it is hard because they’re unexpected right? Dealing with the situation in a calm manner is always the best way to go about things, and other things can wait and be done after.
‘There’s nowt as queer as folk’ is an expression my family have always used and it wasn’t until that summer that I truly appreciated its meaning. People are strange. We all have crazy ideas and our own ways of doing things. The most important thing I learnt through my internship was how to work with different people, people with completely different work ethics and ways of getting work done. Yeah sure, I’ve done plenty of group work in my time at university, and worked with many different people during part time jobs but working with people on a certain project is usually rather temporary. Working 5 days a week for 3 months with 4 boys who were all completely different, was definitely my biggest challenge! I like to think of myself as a very organised person, getting things done on time and having everything prepared. Working everyday with these people, taught me that it’s okay not to have every single detail planned days or even weeks in advance, but sometimes the best outcomes come from being completely spontaneous and a bit more laid back. The guys I worked with were fantastic and everyday, in their own way, they taught me new things.
Is there any valuable tips you’ve learnt from work experience?