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Professional Confessional

A blog providing tips and resources for life after college

2015 August

7 Things Every Intern Needs to Know Besides Coffee Orders

Contributed by Bryson Brewer, a senior Sociology major at Wake Forest University. Bryson recently interned in NYC with Macy’s as a Private Brand Intern in Men’s Shoes and Accessories.

1. The low man or woman on the totem pole holds great power

In a competitive job market companies know they need to attract the best talent. This means employers go to great lengths to create a positive internship experience. Take advantage of this. Reach out for informational interviews with those who would normally be hard to access.

Macy's 12. The days of being surrounded by people your age are over

Diversity is a good thing! In the world of work, you’ll encounter people of varying degrees of experience and expertise. Learning how to navigate these differences socially and professionally is vital. Do the necessary research on those around you and show interests in their work. You may just learn something new.

3. Avoid using your desk as a place to nap

If you find yourself with free time, be productive. Seek to improve projects you have worked on or take the initiative and develop ideas for new projects.

4. Only turn in work you wouldn’t mind the CEO seeing

As an intern your ideas are fresh and innovative. That simple project you turned in could actually be implemented. Don’t let typos or grammatical errors discount your work.

5. Have Uber ready to use

Professionalism is important. Simple things such as arriving on time and dressing the part may help save you from making the wrong impression on the first day. Plan ahead. No, you won’t know in advance if your car breaks down or the subway is delayed. But building in time to your routine to ensure you are on time and ready to go will help.

Macy's 26. What happens at happy hour stays at happy hour …sometimes

Treat out-of-office events as in-office events. These activities provide a way for senior management to get to know you better. I know it’s challenging, but hold off on any questionable activities while in the presence of coworkers.

7. Have Fun

Your internship may only last for 8-10 weeks. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not very long. Balance being the best intern possible while having fun. Get to know new people, explore the city your living in, and take risks, by trying something new. You never know what doors a single opportunity can open.

TIP: Update Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

Don’t miss the opportunity to highlight the skills you developed during your summer internship! Before you get too far removed from your internship, you’ll want to update your resume by highlighting the new skills developed and projects accomplished during the experience. A resume plays an important role in the hiring process for internships and jobs. Often, the resume is the first impression an employer receives on you. So, you want to market your professional brand and skills to potential employers. If you kept a journal, review it for specific skills and tasks completed on key projects. It will help guide what you want emphasize on your resume. Remember, you want to highlight skills relevant to the internship or job to which you are applying. A position’s job description is another great reference when updating your resume. Review the job description for sought-after skills and highlight the skills you possess on your resume. It is not uncommon to have a few different resumes to match each position you wish to receive an interview. You want to be the qualified person employers are searching for in a candidate.

Similar to your resume, your LinkedIn profile can be a first impression of you. Did you know that when you Google your name your LinkedIn profile is one of the top ten links found on you? Use your resume to update your LinkedIn profile with the skills and projects obtained during your internship. This will ensure your profile matches your resume. LinkedIn is not only your online resume, but a resource for connecting and networking with alumni and employers. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, learn more by viewing the video below.

For assistance, come by the Office of Personal and Career Development during resume review hours to receive tips and advice on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Review hours are: Monday through Thursday 1 – 4 p.m. Exceptions: extended hours 1 – 5 p.m. on September 17; and no reviews on September 2 and November 27-28. The last day of reviews for the semester will be December 5.

Visit the Career Development website for additional information and tips on resumes and LinkedIn.