The Three Most Important Things You Can Learn from an Internship


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Interns. Now-a-days, this term has become synonymous with millennial college students and their drive to excel. However, it isn’t as known that some women choose to intern after college as a way to get their foot in the door at the company of their dreams. If you’re like me, a soon-to-be college senior looking to gain experience in new fields and prep for the “real world” after graduation, you’ve probably been at a summer internship all summer too. As the summer internship season comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on your experience.

Were you at a company that exceeded your expectations in terms of what you learned and the opportunities they offered you? Or did you end up somewhere that turned out to be completely different than what you thought it would be like? (Thankfully I hit the jackpot with the former). Either way, every intern can learn something from their experiences. I’m about to share with you three of the most important things I’ve come to learn as truths after a few internships under my belt.


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Mistakes Happen

This is a rule not only for internships but for life which is a good thing to learn early on. If you make mistake no matter how big, it’s always good to own up to it first. Acknowledge that you did something incorrectly and don’t try to cover it up or blame some factor out of your control. Your supervisors will respect you more for it. Once the mistake is made, learn from it and ask for help, if needed, on how to improve for the future.

Hard Work Never Goes Unnoticed

Again a rule that can be applied outside your internship, going that extra mile teaches you a few things. Not only does it discipline you and teaches you about the value of a good work ethic, but hard work shows your employers that you can be efficient on your own. From hard work, you can also learn about how you work and when you work best.

You Can Do Anything (even if it requires a little assistance)

It’s true and having this positive attitude will take you farther. Having that mindset will motivate you to take risks and try new things that may benefit your employer. If you want to contribute an idea at the next staff meeting? Try it out! There’s no harm in taking that risk. Just remember each day that you can do anything and if you need help, never be afraid to ask. At the end of the day, your boss will probably love that you came to them and will use it as a teaching opportunity.

What have your experiences been with summer internships? Any more great things you’ve learned from them?


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  • Reply August 2, 2013

    I’ve loved my internship this summer! I was truly a highly valued part of the team and got some great experience working in a nonprofit office environment with a great group of coworkers.

  • Reply August 3, 2013

    Zoe Bjornson

    I think internships can be great if the company you’re with really throws you in there, makes you do projects and tasks that any other employee would do. In this case, you’re able to see what it’s like at that company without ‘filing goggles’ on – AKA when all you’re doing is filing and not really learning anything. Companies should strive to teach their interns and show them a part of the industry they are in rather than just utilizing them for (un)paid hands.