Every internship has its challenges. Luckily mine had nothing to do with the people or the culture of the company, just adapting to the indoor work environment. Last summer I spent 32 hours a week walking through fields, seven hours driving my pickup between locations and two hours in the office working on reports. This summer I have spent majority of my work hours behind two computer screens and only make it outside for my walk during my lunch break. Both extremes from my internships have taught me what paths I would like to take for my future career. Reflecting on my experiences, I have more to share. Here are some tips for internship success I have learned along the way:
• If you don’t like business professional and would rather wear jeans to work – then you need to search for an internship with that type of company culture. Don’t be afraid to ask about the company’s work attire and culture in an interview!
• Express work conflicts in an interview. If you know that you will need time off throughout the summer for the county fair or vacation – tell your boss right away. College students have a tendency to think about everything but work in the summertime.
• Learn how to juggle multiple tasks at once. It can be challenging to have three different projects started and feel like you are not getting anything done. A good solution to this is breaking the projects into sections and creating deadlines for each part. Learning how to prioritize and multitask is a major key to success.
• Adjust your standards – I have always been quick to finish a project. However, “quick” sometimes sacrifices the quality. Treat your work projects as you would treat an essay for a class where you will receive a grade for the superiority of your work.
• It’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. On the other hand – always be sure to proofread, proofread, proofread because tiny mistakes can be the most embarrassing.
• Show up to work early. Being on time can be a struggle for me but being early helps develop good habits not just for work but for several other occasions down the line.
• Take on intimidating tasks. I never thought I would be a credible enough source to write a blog but it ended up giving me confidence and I learned how much I actually enjoy doing it.
• Learn how to communicate and develop relationships with coworkers. It makes the experience a lot simpler! Thankfully I have never had to deal with a difficult coworker but being positive and working with friendly people makes the work environment a lot more enjoyable.
• My last piece of advice for internship success would be knowing when to reach out for help and when to figure it out on your own. I generally have a tendency to ask about the things I could have handled myself and not ask on the more difficult tasks and end up having to restart something. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help but also have confidence in yourself to figure it out on your own. When in doubt – Google it!
Internships are a blessing in disguise. They give you the freedom and flexibility to figure out what your future career may entail. Make the best of them.
Find available internships on AgCareers.com
This blog post was written by AgCareers.com 2018 Marketing Intern Kate Boeckenstedt.