Friday, June 21, 2013

5 Expert Tips For Nailing Your First Month


I’ve been super nervous in the days leading up to my first week of work, mostly because I have so many questions. Will I like my fellow interns? Who will I get lunch with? How do I schedule informational interviews with editors of the three different magazines I intern for?

With all of these questions, I looked to the intern diaries of last summer. Not only have they assuaged my worries, but also gave me some great advice going into my first internship. Here are my favorite five tips from last summer’s interns:

1) Keep flip-flops, gum, and an umbrella in your bag along with your necessities. From running errands to chatting with your coworkers, these three items seemed the most necessary and useful.

2) It’s ok to not know everything and ask questions. It’s so easy to forget that an internship is supposed to be about getting hands-on experience in your dream field, not about being perfect. It’s hard to change your mentality from "if I’m perfect I’ll get the internship" to "I will make mistakes but I’m here to learn."

3) Know the magazine front, back and sideways, and memorize the masthead. "Who’s Miranda?" is not a question to ask.

4) Play to your strengths, and look for projects that will showcase those talents.

5) Thank you notes are a must!

I wish I had more advice to give rather than regurgitate advice, but simply reading those blogs has become a lifeline for me. Edsters, do you keep in contact with your fellow interns and learn from their mistakes? Sound off in the comments!

Until next week,
Shelter Intern


  1. I still keep in contact with fellow interns from years ago. They have proven to be great friends, and peer mentors. On the other hand, it is important to not forget that most internships are really a three month long interview and your fellow interns are both friends and competition. That doesn't mean that every internship is some hunger-games atmosphere, but it's important to not get overly comfortable with your job.

  2. That's great advice, thank you! With the "three month long interview" idea in mind, do you think it's a good idea to test the waters and see what other responsibilities you can have as an intern? Or is it better to play it safe?