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A Guide to Surviving an Internship

Define your objectives

It seems these days that every undergraduate wants a prestigious internship at a large MNC. While that seemed like an excellent resume booster, I knew I wanted an internship that would stretch me and that I would enjoy. That's when I started looking for specific job descriptions listing a wide range of responsibilities. Pen down the objectives of your internship and what you want out of it. How can it help your career? What new skills can you learn? Are you qualified for the job? I came across this posting by 33 Talent and it was exactly what I wanted: a variety of responsibilities relevant to my marketing and analytics majors.

Thing was, I knew nothing about the company. This brings me to my next point:

Do research and find the right company Now that you've set your objectives and found a potential company to work for, do your research! I went through 33 Talent's website to understand more about the company and its culture. Make sure that the culture fits you. 33 Talent works on a ROWE and uses innovation and the power of ‘we’ to achieve excellence. 33 Talent also integrates social responsibility in its business. These were standout to me and made it a clearer choice for my internship. You'll need to know the company in order to do well for your interview, so study hard (I found a spelling mistake in their website)!

Be yourself It’s now time to nail the interview. No one likes a person with all the model answers so let your personality show; do this through both your cover letter and interview(s). I'm grateful that both Rachel and Kath laughed at my jokes instead of giving me cold stares. As long as your behaviour is appropriate, express yourself and have fun.

Do everything I identified myself as 'the intern' from day one. I really do like being called an intern, it's like a cool job title. I was hired as a marketing and research intern, and this meant I had a lot of work to choose from. I was given the freedom to select certain projects based on my preferences. However, I opted to be given any type of work because that's what interns do, right? I was even prepared to fetch coffee but I was constantly given challenging and fun projects to work on. I was never made to do menial work and I was used as a resource instead of a tool. During my internship, I got to design marketing collateral, plan events, create presentations, conduct research of all sorts, attend workshops and many more. Whatever projects you’re working on, don't forget to absorb what you've learnt!

Absorb like a sponge An internship is a 2-way relationship; you give some and you get some. I wanted to be of useful help to the company, but also wanted to learn everything they could teach me. My marketing work exposed me to many types of media, honed my content creation skills and event planning skills. My research work taught me useful software skills, analytical skills and presentation skills. I compiled all the readings, web links and online classes in my very own folder (no company information) for future reference. Watch out, future classmates! The things you learn from an internship can't be learnt in class (TRUST ME on this) so suck it all in and positively exploit your company's knowledge.

Find a salad place It might sound weird but having a healthy lunch option is crucial for surviving an internship. Let's face it, you'll be sitting on a chair for most of your day so it's important to eat healthy! My colleagues introduced me to an amazing salad place called Sunmoon and I promise I can eat it almost every day. In fact, we frequent it so much that we should probably have salads named after us. Enough said.

Have fun This is where all your hard work pays off. When you find an internship that truly suits you, you're bound to have fun. I have learnt to repeat previous points so it sticks in people's minds so once again, define your objectives and do your research! An internship consists of what your company offers you, and what you make of it. You can only control one so do everything in your power to make it a great one. What 33 talent has offered me is beyond what they listed on their job description. Not only did I get to learn a great deal, but I also got to have plenty of fun.

Thank you, 33 talent, for making me the subject of my friends' envy by giving me the best internship I could ask for. Good luck for your internships and to sum everything up and make things easy to remember, here’s an acronym (because these always work):



U (be you)