5 Internship Tips From a Guy With Only 6 Weeks Experience

5.  Timeliness

Getting to an internship interview 15 minutes early shows that you are punctual and understand the importance of being early.  Showing up 2 hours early makes you look like an idiot.  The two-hour example is not a joke, I have seen this happen.  You’re coming for a job interview, not camping out to see the premier of the 800th Twilight movie.  You can only pretend to read the little pamphlets they always have in the lobby for so long, and those notes your pretending to take on the upcoming interview are filling up that moleskin.  It’s like trying to do a small gesture like helping an old lady across the street, only after you help her across the street you buy her a house.  You’re intentions were good, but you overdid it a bit.  15 minutes if plenty of time, and sends the right message.

4.     Always Have a Pen and Paper

Think you have a great memory Mr. Will Hunting?  You are wrong.  It’s easy to remember when Carol  from HR gets a call from Pepe Silvia and needs a call back.  But when Pepe leaves a message with the details on a deal with a new client and throws five different numbers at you, you’re going to have to write it down.   I’m not a huge fan of the moleskin, and that’s mostly because I have huge handwriting.  I have a yellow pad of paper, the same kind my dad uses (thanks dad).  My point is, writing utensil and a form of parchment.   You’re going to need them.

3.  Don’t Lie About Movie Knowledge

If you haven’t seen the movie everyone in the office is talking about, it’s not the end of the world to admit that.  If you don’t recognize some (or all) of the actors in a movie, never guess.  If you, for instance, mention that you are surprised Michael Cera is in a new kind of role for “The Social Network” and it turns out he isn’t even in the movie, no one will kill you (but they WILL make fun of you a lot).   You’re always better off asking and listening than guessing and hoping.

2.  Laugh at Everything

Not everyone in the office is going to get your sense of humor.  The guy to your left and you could be joking about “The Daily Show” while on the right the other guy is laughing it up to youtube videos of cats on a treadmill.  To each their own.  What’s really important is to make everyone in the office think they’re hilarious.  You might not find any humor in a majority of stories people tell, but dammit you always laugh.  ALWAYS.  Everyone loves to think their funny, no reason to spoil that for the people you work with.

1.  Selective Revelation

So your boss is telling you stories about his glory days of college.  As he entertains you with these tales of debauchery, similar experiences probably come to mind.  But just because he told you about the great panty raid of 68′ doesn’t mean you should tell him about festivus…or Sandy’s…or anything really.  See tip number two for how you should respond to such stories.  When discussing the social side of college life it’s always wise to err on the side of caution.

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