Internships are valuable experiences that prepare you for the real world — or at least, that’s what people tell you. But the truth is, an internship is only what you make of it. Whether you’re finishing up your summer internship or starting one this fall, we’ve got some serious advice before you embark on your next biz-cas-wearing, coffee-chugging journey.
With a little luck and a lot of hard work, you can turn your internship into a full-time gig — just follow these simple rules…
1. Show The F–k Up
You can’t accomplish anything if you’re not in the office to begin with. There’s an old saying in business, which also applies to internships: To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is to have not showed up at all. Don’t view going to work as a chore — see it as an opportunity. (I know it’s corny, but hey, it works.)
2. Do Your F–king Work
Whatever your work is — filing papers, making copies, picking up Starbucks or something (hopefully) more substantial — do it efficiently and do it well. Your work, no matter how trivial it may seem to you, is important and much-needed.
And if it’s one of those internships that doesn’t have anything for you to do, make some work. Read up on industry trends or organize the office supply closet or familiarize yourself with the company’s current projects — so that when an assignment finally does come along, you’re fully prepared to tackle it.
3. Don’t F–king Complain
Wahh wahh wahh. Whining is not an acceptable response to any request, no matter how annoying it may be. Complete all your work with a smile, even if you’re screaming on the inside. Remember, it’s an opportunity — not a chore.
4. Remember Everyone’s F–king Name
This is a no-brainer. The people you work with can teach you so much — but only if you know their names to ask them. Which brings me to…
5. Ask F–king Questions
If you don’t know what you’re doing, ask someone. It’s better to ask a potentially stupid question than to royally screw something up.
6. F–king Say Hello
Be friendly to your coworkers. Ask people how they’re doing. Make smalltalk. Don’t be a robot. This isn’t rocket science, guys.
7. Don’t Look Like A F–king Slob
You’ve heard it before — dress for the job you want, not the job you have. That said, don’t rock a full-on suit and tie if everyone in your office is wearing jeans. On your first day of work, dress on the conservative side. Then check out what your coworkers are wearing and use that standard to judge the rest of your outfits.
8. Get Enough F–king Sleep
You won’t get any work done if you’re falling asleep at your desk. Take care of yourself at home so you can focus at work the next day. Get as much sleep as you can, eat something that’s not fast food, and try to exercise — or at least walk really fast on your way to the subway.
9. Don’t Be A F–king Idiot
Don’t spend your entire workday browsing Reddit. Don’t show up to work drunk. Don’t ask questions you can easily Google the answer to. Don’t spam coworkers’ emails. Don’t post inappropriate things on your social media profiles.
A little common sense goes a long way, people.
10. F–king Speak Up
You can’t expect anyone to read your mind. Enjoy the work you’re doing? Tell your boss. Want to learn something new? Politely ask someone — the worst they can say is “no.” Looking for a full-time job after your internship? Well, they can’t hire you if they don’t know you’re available to work.
Be sure to voice your interests, but…
11. Don’t Act F–king Entitled
Be grateful. Be respectful. Write thank you cards when your internship is over.
12. Stay The F–k In Touch
Don’t peace out on your last day and disappear into oblivion. Keep in touch with your previous employers. Don’t bombard them with emails, of course, but it can’t hurt to let them know what you’re up to a few months down the line.
Sure, they may be able to help you out with a reference or a letter of rec — but don’t keep in touch just because of that. These people spent weeks training you and teaching you awesome things. Keep in touch because otherwise you’ll be just another intern who did their thing for a few months…and that was it.
13. See The Bigger F–king Picture
No internship is a waste of time, even if it feels like one. If you spend three months slaving away in a banking position before realizing that finance isn’t for you, that’s OK. That’s awesome, in fact, because it’s way better to try something as an intern and realize you hate it than to start a job in a field you don’t even know you hate yet.
Every internship, no matter the industry, teaches you important life skills — teamwork, networking, how to operate a coffee machine — that will help you be that much better at whatever field you ultimately pursue. It’s definitely great to know what you want to do with your life — but in many ways, it’s just as important to know what you DON’T want to do.