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Coming Full Circle: Five Tips for Interns

As cliché as it sounds, I knew from my first day of my spring semester senior year internship that I wanted to work at Dixon Schwabl. The atmosphere, the people, the incredible work being done around me—I knew that I wanted to be a part of it and stay long after my internship was over. When a position opened up right before I graduated, I took a chance and applied.  I now work on the social media team full-time, and – coming full circle – even coordinate our internship program.

In school, you hear about how essential internships are and how far networking can take you, especially in this field. I’m here to tell you how true both of these really are. Your internship is really what you make of it. After transitioning from intern to internship coordinator and full-time employee, I’ve learned a lot about taking full advantage of your time at your internship, and how to leave a lasting impression. Here are some tips that I have learned along the way:

1.) Be on time
Make sure that you show up on time throughout your internship. It can be easy to start showing up a few minutes late as you get comfortable in the environment, but make sure that you keep it consistent. If you’ll be late for any reason, let your supervisor know as soon as possible.

2.) Be positive
It’s true—sometimes as an intern, you will occasionally be in charge of tasks that aren’t the most exciting, or that you don’t particularly love. But keep a positive attitude, and smile! People will notice and appreciate it. 

3.) Be professional
It sounds like common sense, but make sure that you stay professional at your internship. Whether it is through dress code, following office etiquette, or through interactions with other employees or clients you are exposed to, professionalism is essential. Be mindful of your actions, but be yourself!

4.) Be proactive
Take the initiative to go above and beyond on every assignment that you are given. If you need clarification, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Better to ask and learn to do it right than to guess and possibly have to redo the assignment. If there is something you are interested in learning or working on that you haven’t gotten an opportunity to, ask! Every professional was once where you are, so they will more than likely be willing to help out and teach you.

5.) Network, network, network
Your internship is an opportunity to build relationships with the people you work with. Whether it is a big or small workplace, go out of your way to say hi and introduce yourself to everyone you encounter. Take the time to sit down with them if possible, ask them about how they arrived at their current position and learn from them. Relationships that you build during your internship can lead to future opportunities.

Jessica DiLuglioJessica DiLuglio is a Social Media Assistant and Internship Coordinator at Dixon Schwabl. She is a recent graduate of The College at Brockport, and is a member of PRSA’s Young Professionals Committee. 

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