Tips for Being an Intern by Interns

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012|Advice, Elexu Team Posts, Guest posts|by ElexuCommunity

Today’s post comes from all around the Elexu office. Each member gave one tip for being an Intern. Some tips are what you would expect to hear, but are always important to reiterate and some are personal suggestions based on experience.

1) What am I getting into.

Whenever you volunteer to be an unpaid intern there is always a risk of joining a company that simply treats you as unpaid labour. Therefore it’s a good idea that when you see an advertisement for an internship you should research the company, the person (if a name is given) on LinkedIn and most importantly throughout the interview process you should gather this list of info: expenses, potential for a full time position, main responsibilities and ask them what you get out of it. Also ,some internship’s are in foreign countries so it’s best to know that you will be spending the next six months in China.

2) Networking and attitude.

Networking isn’t just a fancy word for meeting people in the white collar world. It’s building a list of useful contacts for the future. So meet and build up as many relationships as you can. You never know who you may need to contact for a favour in the future.

Also, treat the internship like a job because most internships are summer long interviews. Even if they don’t tell you, they are definitely looking at what you can do. Everything you do can affect your opportunities and references you get out of the experience.

3) LONDON is the place to be

Supposedly around 61% of UK Internships are located in London. This is a great opportunity to go to some events in London after work, just because you end at 5 o’clock doesn’t mean you have to head home. Once a week, look to go out in London, maybe with the other interns. You can find a number of free events listed at Timeout. For example: this month I am going to a liquid spray art battle (yes they exsist). There are also museums that do late nights, karaoke bars, alternative bars and small unique events such as Soho secrets; London is an oyster, you just have to open it.

4) Free Stuff!

Let me just say: DON’T STEAL. What I mean, is that if you helped work on a company magazine, poster, newsletter or anything you put effort into then try to get a free copy of it. This is evidence of your work, value to the company and can be a great thing to show off to potential employers in the future.  Make sure that you name is represented or else no one will no you exist. Also, consider anything the comapny gives away for free, such as buissness cards to computer programs.

4) They need you (You can tell this one is from an executive).

Find a way to make yourself invaluable to the company, make the company or organisation feel like without you they will wither and die. This also puts you in a position of power to get what you want but don’t push it.

This is an Elexu Community post. If you would like to write a Blog post that you think the Elexu Community would be interested in then please contact Sam at sam.watson@elexu.org.