by Grommet intern Alyssa Boisvert
As a rising college sophomore searching for my first summer internship, I never expected that I would be lucky enough to work for The Grommet. I’d heard enough friends complain about their internships to assume that there was nothing more to interning than filing, coffee runs for the office, and sorting pens. It took all of two minutes being in The Grommet office to realize that things would be different. The work I’ve done here is not only worthwhile, but it has been tailored to expose me to different aspects of the business that I find interesting, and has broadened my understanding of what it means to be working in a start-up. And gasp—I actually enjoy coming to work. As my internship comes to an end, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some tips for Surviving Your Summer Internship.
1. Stretch Yourself: As an intern, you probably don’t have your life flawlessly planned out. Even if you think you do, use this experience to test the waters and try out something you’ve never considered doing or been too afraid to try before. Don’t shy away from new opportunities.
2. Use Your LinkedIn: The people you meet at your internships now are valuable connections for the future. Make sure that you stay connected through LinkedIn.
3. Talk to One New Person a Day: Even though you’ll only be here for the summer, it’s great to get to know the people you work with. Part of getting the most out of an internship is making friends in your office and learning from those around you on an informal level. Even just saying hi to one new person a day is enough to get the ball rolling.
4. See What Other People Are Up To: While getting to know people in the office is important, so is getting to know what their jobs are like. Maybe you can do this by sitting in on different department meetings or by seeking out someone in a different department to talk to them about what they do. There’s no telling what you may stumble upon.
5. Ask Questions: If you don’t understand all aspects of your assignment, ask! It’s better to ask a few more questions than to invest a lot of time in something before discovering you’re doing it wrong.
Bonus Tip: Breathe. You’re here to learn. You may very well make a mistake once in a while or embarrass yourself when trying something new. But chances are you weren’t given an assignment that could make or break the company, and everyone around you can probably think of their own embarrassing story. So, I hope you’ll take some of the advice above, and whatever happens, don’t forget to breathe. In the end, everything is going to end up okay, and you’ll learn the most from the moments when you step outside of your comfort zone.