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No coffee and copies for this intern

You went on an interview a week ago and after a week of answering your phone on the first ring; you’ve finally got the call. Your internship will start in about a week. That gives you enough time to somewhat break the habit of sleeping until 12 p.m., go out and invest in a wardrobe that consists of something other than jeans and t-shirts, and most importantly, figure out how to get as much out of the internship as possible.

A lot of people have a misconception of what it means to be an intern. Contrary to popular belief, intern is not a synonym for lackey. You have the opportunity to learn a lot and get hands on training. But, you have to show that you want to learn. Chances are, if you show up late and give the impression that the only reason you’re there is to get your credit hours, you will eventually end up on coffee duty.

To prove that you mean business and are not just there because it is an alternative to going to class, you will need to above all be on time. Being prompt is a quality that can either make or break you. Once you are there, you need to give the impression that you are driven and motivated to be successful. If there is a task that you know needs to be done every morning, do it. Be a self-starter.

One of the things that I had to overcome while I was an intern was the fear of asking too many questions. After a while, I realized that I was there to learn and that questions are a part of the learning process. Once I got over that I probably suddenly became very annoying to my supervisor and others I worked with. But seriously, asking questions and engaging in conversations with co-workers will let them know you are serious. And more importantly, will benefit you after school in your own career.

If I had to assign a word as a synonym for intern, it would be leech. Get in there and suck up as much knowledge and skill as you possibly can.

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