For these last few weeks working for Lifestyle mag, I've been trying to stay as busy as possible, and my biggest goal from this point on is to be remembered in a positive way by my editors. Coincidentally, I've heard a few horror stories from editors and interns alike of what they think makes a bad intern, so of course I couldn't help but share these helpful hints with my fellow Edsters.
1) Don't be late. Every intern I've met has always made it a point to be incredibly early to everything, all the time. I am no exception, but I can't lie to you all and pretend that train delays and Midtown traffic have always been on my side. I've been a couple of minutes late before, but I've now learned that the best way to deal my mistakes is to do immediate damage control.
Last week Annie walked into a staff meeting seconds after it had started, and although there is always a staff member or two that walk in late, our internship coordinator took notice. Later that afternoon, Annie received an email warning her of her behavior, which left both Annie and myself down in the dumps. Had it been her fault that she was late? Not necessarily. Does it still reflect negatively on her? Unfortunately, yes. Going forward, Annie and I now know that the best way to make up for making a mistake is to own up to it and apologize immediately. Sending our coordinator a quick email or stopping by her desk with an apology for being late could make the difference between being remembered as the fantastic intern who accidentally dropped the ball one time, and the intern who was constantly operating on their own time. Take note, Edsters.
2) Showing up hungover is BAD. If only I had a picture of the look on my editor's face when she suddenly remembered that intern. Apparently in the past Lifestyle mag had an experience with an intern who preferred to make her positive impression at the New York City club scene than at the office. One day said intern was MIA, and just as her editors noticed she was missing they heard office gossip about someone locked in one of the bathroom stalls, snoring. Turns out Sleeping Beauty was the missing intern, complete in her clothes from the day before and an excuse that she was too busy to commit to the internship, anyway. Edsters, I beg you, don't be that intern.
3) Not being productive with your time. One day Annie and I were at a press event together and found ourselves sitting next to an editor who was equally as interested in picking our brains about interning as we were in picking her brain about editing. We had some back and forth conversation going on before Annie finally asked what she thought made a good intern. She told us that one of her biggest pet peeves is interns who don't do anything with their time, and don't intend to. It wasn't a bother to her if she was in the middle of a project and an intern asked her for an assignment, but it did bother her if an intern took her being busy as an excuse to peruse Facebook for an hour or two. If there is genuinely nothing for the intern to do, even after that intern has asked around the office for assignments, editors will rather see that you find a way to keep yourself busy rather than walk by and see you tweeting about how bored you are at your job.
Do you have any tips about office no-no's to share with your fellow Edsters? Or even an intern horror story that could help the rest of us out? Do tell in the comments section!
Until Next Week,