Your Summer Internship Guide

It’s finally here gang. Our first #MillenialFriday with interns in the office. Intern season is upon us. For many of you reading this means you have someone to do the grunt work around the office, and how great is that? I’d like to dedicate this to the younger portion of our millennial generation, the remaining few. This week starts your summer internship for many of you. After weeks, even months, of interview prep and suits to class, you have managed to lock down your summer internship. Many of you probably moved to a big city. This is the best time in the world. You have a job in a city and can live like an adult, and then afterwards you get one more year of college. Your easiest year if you kick ass this summer. Now, I can’t give much guidance to how your office life will go because I don’t know what it is you do, but as far as the extracurriculars go, please see the following:

1.     Go to the events.

I’m going to let you in on secret. In this context, “events” is code for happy hour. This is typically the first event you’ll attend during your internship. Go to them and get to know your intern class. You’ll be working with them a majority of the summer, so it’s good to know who you’re on this journey with. Also, your company will more than likely have actual events, like a BBQ or a taco truck or kickball. Who knows? Go to all of these. You aren’t too cool for them, and will feel left out later when everyone is talking about them. This is also a good way to feel out your company’s culture and meet people in upper management/outside your immediate intern class.

2.     Don’t spend your weekends in bed.

If you’re going to be going to happy hours and going out at night, convince your self to get out of bed and explore the city, especially if you’re visiting a city just for the summer. You will crash if just work all week, and loaf around all weekend. Get up early(ish) on a Saturday morning and get to know your temporary home. There are plenty of coffee shops to be discovered. I’ve found a great way to get to know a city is a cup of coffee and a long morning walk. After your walk, go find a rooftop or a patio. It is summer, after all, and day drinking counts as getting to know your new city.

3.     Demonstrate value.

This goes for you internship itself but also in the social group of interns. Maybe you’re the girl who always has a portable charger in her purse? Maybe your SoulCycle playlist also happens to be the perfect pregame playlist? However you do it, show the group that it’s better to have you around. It will give you more options for things to do all summer long. Also, if you do that in the office, management will take note.

4.     Get swept up in it all.

Experience everything your city has to offer. Do they have a sports team? Go to a game. Are they known for a certain kind of cuisine? Try it. Go to museums or cool concert venues. Stroll through the parks. Learn the public transport system. (Especially if you’re in a city with a good one.) If you play your cards right this could become a much more long term home, so try everything and find out what you love about it while you’re here in the summer. Because your first winter anywhere will suck, so have those memories of your new home.

5.     Keep that phone charged.

You aren’t going to want to miss a thing so make sure that phone has plenty of juice at all times. Utilize that portable charge you keep in your bag. The cell phone has become a powerful tool; let yours work for you. You want to be able to take pictures, you want your friends to be able to get a hold of you, and when your boss calls at 10 p.m. on a Friday saying a report needs to be completed, you do not want to miss that call.

6.     Spare no expense.

You’re going to be in a major city (hopefully) on your own for the first time in your life. And cities are much more expensive than your college town, I know that sucks. But live it up. Eat the nice meal, buy the concert tickets, get that round of drinks. Your final summer going into senior year will be great, trust yourself to enjoy it. Be somewhat responsible so you have some cash when you get back to school. With the cost of living difference, you’ll feel like a baller when you return.

7.     Make Friends.

Get to know your fellow interns. It will make the work environment much more pleasant. You will have people to go out with. It will make this new city feel much more like a home if you have friends. Now remember, you got this internship because you’re smart and you look at things down the road. If you made friends with your fellow interns, when you come back to work there full time (fingers crossed) those fellow interns are now potential roommates. You have the luxury of avoiding Craigslist. I know not everyone will return to the same company after their internship, so people you meet may not even return to the same city. But know you have friends in different cities and you can start planning your travel weekends away and already have lodging taken care of. Look at you; I knew you were smart.

8.     Lock down the full time gig.

The real reason you are interning is in an attempt to get a full time job. So, have fun all summer and take it all in, but also kick ass. Show everyone at your office why you’re the right person for the job and put yourself at ease for your senior year. You may do your internship and find out you don’t want to work at that company. That’s okay too. That’s what I did. Work hard and set yourself up for your career come this time next year. You’ll either be ready to go at this company where you’ve made connections, or you’ll be on the path to find the best thing for you. Either way, I wish you luck and have a hell of a time. Take care.

As always, please like, comment, share, go on a walking tour of a national historic site, and tweet us all about it. Use the #MillenialFriday and spread the love.