When you’re in college, nobody tells you how to be an intern.
That’s too bad.
Because once you land your internship, your employer wants you to act like one.
Recently, the career development representative at Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!) invited me and a bunch of Chicago journalists who work in newspapers, magazines, and communications for dinner to pick our brains about how we could help turn J-school students into dream interns.
If you’re interning, or plan to intern this year, these tips might apply:
1. Work later than everyone else. One woman said she turned her internship into a job because she would stick around until 7 p.m., willing to help anyone do anything—even if it was something as simple as mailing a package.
2. Ditch the millennial crowd. It’s great if there are young people at your office, but don’t be an ageist. And let’s face it: Those older, mid-level managers are the ones that are going to hire you, anyway.
3. Pick out an office role model. If you’re unsure of how to “act” at your first job, follow this person’s lede (pardon the pun).
4. Invite someone out for coffee. Take the initiative to learn as much as you can about the company you’re working for.