Tag Archives: internship

Don’t let procrastination keep you down

I can’t tell you how many times procrastination has made my life incredibly stressful and difficult for a day, or led to consumption of stupid amounts of stimulants to keep me going through a night of work. DONT LET PROCRASTINATION KEEP YOU DOWN. There are a ton of resources out there to help you conquer your worst enemy; now it’s time to realize that procrastination is not something you should tolerate of yourself and eliminate it from your life. If you don’t do it yourself, your colleagues and superiors will through reprimands and voiced disappointment. Procrastination is a real and present danger to any intern trying to make something out of his/her internship. Check out the presentation below found via 28 Creative PowerPoint and Keynote Presentation Designs.

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Staying Focused as an Intern

One of the most difficult aspects of working at an internship, especially if it’s your first, is the fact that you have to filter out a myriad of distractions that incessantly threaten your focus. Luckily for many of us, 80% to 90% of these distractions stem from the mother of all Catch-22s, our computers. Social networking sites, video portals, and bookmarking services are the bane of any curious intern’s concentration. It’s important to come to terms with and get a grip on our weakness and take some preparatory measures.

Keep track of your daily activities– Whenever you hop off the task you’re currently working on to check out a status update, drill down a tweet, or follow a link in an email, take a note of how long you spend doing so. There are time management applications such as RescueTime or TimeSnapper that keep a record of your computer activity and allow you to track just how much time you are wasting.

When knowing isn’t enough- If knowing that you’re wasting 1.5 to 2 hours on Facebook on a daily basis isn’t enough to motivate a change, consider a url blocker that keeps you from visiting those sites during certain hours. CNet offers a wide variety of blockers meant for protecting kids from exposed genitalia which can handily be applied to blocking the sites that suck up most of your productive day.

Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize- Last but quite the opposite of least, make sure you prioritize any task that is assigned to you and make sure that you move through your prioritized list in an organized, logical way. It can be a real pain for those of us used to doing things on the fly, but will utimately help you avoid embarassing incidents of forgotting an important task or doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Getting used to a working routine can take a lot of time, and sometimes takes several internships to fully grasp. Don’t beat yourself and focus on what’s important: you’re there to learn. The rest will come on its own, or I will stumble across the same situation and blog about it. Good day.

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Taking full advantage of your internship

Interning is an important step toward securing a solid position after college. Not only are you gathering valuable work skills, you’re also getting accustomed to the typical mechanics of work life and laying a mental foundation for the rest of your life. I know you’ve been preached this same spiel 20 million times, so I’m going to launch straight into the meat of my advice.

It’s all about Documentation– Being able to display examples of work is a surefire way to set yourself apart from other job applicants when it really matters. Don’t be lazy now and force yourself to scramble and dig for documents when you really need them. Start a portfolio folder and start putting away work you’re proud of. Anything that stands out to you should be automatically dropped in the folder for later reference. Trust me, it’ll be a lot easier to pick out the best stuff than to have to dig around when the time comes. If you’re feeling like a total overachiver, upload the files to the cloud with a service like Box.net or Google Docs.

Reference Letters– Sure, you’re trying your best at your internship because that’s what you’re supposed to do. The true reward, however, comes when you can ask for a reference letter, or even better, a letter of recommendation from your employer. This is a personal guarantee that you have performed your responsibilities to your fullest and that you are a quality employee. Neighbor references are for highschoolers, the shit you get from an internship lands you jobs with Fortune 500 companies.

Employee Education– There are many names for this one, but it’s absolutely one you should take advantage of. If you see offerings for any kinds of educational courses at your place of employment, make sure you work your ass off so your employer gives you time to take these. Any type of certification or advanced training will work wonders for your resume and carry you through an interview.

Internships can be miserable, they can be tedious, but ultimately they are incredibly valuable to your pursuit of a fruitful career. Don’t be lazy and take a few simple measures to carry the fruit of your labor to your next interview.
Leave a comment about your own internship experience, and if you’re feeling a little overachieveresque maybe even a link to a piece of your work!

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Handling Conflict as an Intern

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable and an especially difficult subject for interns. There will always be certain individuals who are out to get you, and those who are extremely intolerant of your position. Although it’s not necessary that you eat every bit of garbage flung at you, it’s important to keep a couple of things in mind.

  • As an intern, you are far more expendable than a full time employee. Full-timers have invested significantly more in the company and rooted themselves in the organization to a degree you will never be able to during your short stint. If a project comes to a standstill or is underperforming because you can’t get along with a full-time member of your team, you’re more than likely to get the boot.
  • You are young and relatively inexperienced. While many of us have a pretty good handle of what’s what in the real world, there are situations at a new internship that you might not fully understand because you’ve never run across anything like it before. Don’t get hot headed, relax and try to figure out what the root of the problem is and do your best to right it. Being proactive will get you much farther than being argumentative and asserting a faulty position.
  • Keep and eye out for trouble. Pay attention to your coworkers’ mood and behavior to avoid putting yourself in a tough situation. If it looks like your coworker is stressed and having a bad day, do your best to avoid exacerbating it. Put yourself in their shoes and don’t do anything that could push their buttons and make them blow up on you.

Although conflict is inevitable in any work environment, a little effort can keep you out of a lot of trouble. If someone is being absolutely and consistently unfair to you and everyone around them, it may be time to take it up with the superiors. Otherwise, complaining about problems with your team mates will single you out in a a negative and non-constructive manner.

Some useful further reading:

Disclaimer: The conflict described in this post does not apply to any unlawful behavior. If you think your coworkers are treating you in a way that violates laws governing work and work environments, consult a professional.

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5 Things to Keep in Mind as a Fresh Intern

As we work our way into the month of June, many of us prospective career makers are just starting or slowly getting settled into summer internships. It’s usually an awkward process, where many of us feel overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of the working world and unsure about how to behave and take part in the bustle around us. Relax. The people you work with are just older versions of you, who know exactly how it is to start work with little to no experience in a professional environment. All you need to do is listen and learn, and things will come on their own. In the mean time, here are a few ground rules to keep you out of trouble and get you involved with your coworkers.

1. Clean up your Facebook page. IMMEDIATELY. Your drunk photos and weed pics from last night’s revelry aren’t going to score any points with your coworkers. You’re lucky you have an internship in the first place with that garbage still on your page. Make sure your privacy settings are adjusted to limit your exposure, and follow this Mashable guide for some helpful tips.

2. When you see people taking coffee breaks together or congregating at a certain time of day, join them. Walk over and introduce yourself if you don’t know everyone, and stick around for the conversation. You’ll learn a wealth of useful info about the office.

3. Never take lunch alone. There’s no better way to get to know the office and improve your status in the team than by consistently taking lunch with your co-workers and taking part in conversations about current projects. Try to mix it up and ask people you haven’t been with for a restaurant recommendation as an opportunity to join them and learn more about people you don’t yet know.

4. Ask when you don’t know. If you’re unsure about something, go to a coworker who doesn’t look particularly stressed and see if they can help you with your problem. Try to find someone who knows the ropes and can help you on a routine basis with your questions. Invite criticism and be sure to thank them for their help. Don’t get defensive when you’re corrected, you’re there to learn.

5. Always make sure you have something to do. If you run out of assigned tasks, ask those around you if you can help. If there’s absolutely nothing for you to do, don’t let yourself be tempted to spend hours on YouTube or Hulu catching up on the latest episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Read up about the company, read blogs or news releases relevant to your field, and check with those around you if you can help again. Check out Technorati’s Top 100 list for a good place to start.

Now once again, relax. Interns are there to learn and everyone who has a clue knows that. Bring what you can to the table and stay engaged, and you’ll be golden.

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