Five Ways To Achieve Internship Greatness

As an intern you’re not expected to do great things. You’re overlooked, slightly taken advantage of, and quickly forget. You may not even have a last name—just [insert first name] The Intern.

But the secret is—they need you. They need you and they want you there, and there’s a lot of room to be great.

So how do you do it, you ask?

How do you intern yourself into a much more confident, smart and effective young professional? How do you intern to the point of greatness that they—dare I say—consider hiring you after graduation? There are five ways to achieve that. Here they are:

Meet the gang. In a hyper connected professional world every coworker—despite his or her age, position, or friendliness—could be a valuable connect you need to take advantage of. Unfortunately, work is a busy place. People are often too consumed with their own deadlines to have the forethought to come meet you, especially when they know you’ll be gone in a few months. That effort you’ll have to make yourself. The easiest way start a relationship at work is to ask questions and listen. Ask them what they do, what they did in the past, and what they studied. You don’t need to be cool or funny, it’s more about showing your dedication and interest. Once you’ve politely and professionally made yourself known, let your actions speak.

Be proactive with your free time. Interns can have a lot of down time. There will be tasks supervisors desperately need you to do, but if you do them quickly then you may find yourself hanging out waiting on instructions. This is your time to impress. Don’t wait for instructions. Don’t beg people who are not responsible for you to give you a task—pay attention to what’s not being done, and go do it yourself. Can you do competitor or customer research? Could you fact check and edit the company website? Could you write an intern guidebook? As your internship progresses you’ll get a better idea of what the company needs and what they don’t have the time for. Act on those observations.

Find out what they could be doing better. There are a million things companies would like to do or would like to do better if they had more time. That’s where you come in. Find out what they don’t have time for and see if it’s within your capabilities to contribute. Before you ask to do the work, put together an outline with: your strategy, your reasoning, and how long it will take.

Come in prepared. There’s no time for a learning curve at a Summer Internship. The time you spend trying to figure things out is time you could spend impressing your coworkers and building advanced skills. Ensure that you make a good first impression by showing up as prepared as possible to do the tasks assigned to you in your work description. If necessary, ask your manager a few weeks before you start for a list of skills to brush up on. You’re completely entitled to that.

Find a mentor. a mentor-mentee relationship doesn’t have to be as serious as it sounds. He or she doesn’t have to name you as their godchild. You don’t have to be nominated. Simply find someone in a position you’d like to have 10 years down the road, take him or her out to lunch, and express your desire to excel within the industry. You will be surprised how much fun a mentor will have taking a break from a normal lunch day to teach you the secrets of success in an industry they’ve mastered. Once your internship is up, make an effort to stay in touch.

Making the most of your internship is all up to you—kind of like college. It’s an opportunity to meet some awesome people with real ability to guide your career, and it’ll be the first thing you will talk about at job interviews. But with any great opportunity, try to take it one step at a time and don’t psych yourself out. If you’ve gotten the internship then you know you already have the skills to impress. Now go impress them some more.

College Advice Getting a Job

Should I Join a Theatre Group in College?

Take it from a former college theatre geek, your school stage will most likely be the best and last stage you'll ever be on. 

After graduation, it’s all community theater and church ensembles, and who has the time for that? Nobody, that's who. 

Going to the farmers market is one of those things that just feels good.

They're quaint and novel, full of happy people buying hand-grown food, and sometimes, they even have a guy playing an accordian over by the pickle stand. It doesn't get better than that, my friends. 

On-Campus Farmers Markets

The lost art of growing vegitables and selling them directly to the community isn't lost yet at these awesome college, where students and professors alike are able to walk less than the length of the campus to a fresh and fantastic farmers markets.

Disc Golf is Everwhere on a College Campus

What do a statue of a university founder, a liberal arts building and an on-campus coffee shop have in common? They can all be disc golf targets.

That’s right, practically every college campus can and should be used as a disc golf course. It’s done at St. Mary’s University, where students get to throw over streams and historic graveyards. And it’s done at the University of Oregon, where students shoot through skinny, sprawling oak trees.

Why Chess is Such a Great Game

Chess may be one of the most important games in humanity.

It has taken geniuses and robots to master, has lasted through centuries of sporting, permeated across the globe and found its way onto almost every college campus in the country. Yet despite its prodigious back story, it is still one of the most democratic games, funneling down to just two individuals and their wits. 

Who is Wes Anderson?

Wes Anderson is half-average guy half-magician. His fashion, visual style, films and characters are all relatable, genuine, cool and absurdly different. He’s been making amazing cult films since the late 80’s, attracting fans of all ages and backgrounds. But at one point he was nothing more than a dude sitting in the back of a college play-write class, looking to make friends and talk movies. 

Having something you wrote with your name attached to it on a website that you didn’t create is resume gold. I'm not talking about your personal blog (which can still be very impressive), I'm talking about guest blogging. 

Guest blogging shows initiative, skill, and business cunning. And although it seems like everyone’s doing it, trust me, it’ll still make you stand out.

The best thing about SpoonUniversity is that its writers understand students. 

College students go to class. College students study in libraries. College students go on $3 hot dog runs at 2 a.m. What they don’t do—is cook. At least not as much as they could.

SpoonUniversity is fixing that.

Having trouble making friends in college?

Worry not - you're not alone! Making friends at any stage of life is a challenge, especially if you're somewhat shy, introverted, or -- we're just going to come out and say it -- "picky". 

Some think it should be easy to make friends in college since there are so many people around, but that's not true. If anything, the amount of options and directions students are pulled in can make it harder to find someone you can really get along with. 

Alright, if our calculations are correct then between move-in day and graduation day you could meet a Prince, a future American President, a surfer musician, a quarterback, or a genius.

You could also meet some other non-famous cutie hanging out around campus, but that wouldn't be as exciting. 

Competitive people can’t help being competitive just like lazy people can’t help being lazy. It’s simply in the blood. But for obvious (and unfortunate) culturally American reasons, teachers, parents and honest friends will berate you for being lazy, but wont for being overly competitive. That’s because competitive people tend to excel: top percentile grades, multiple extracurricular activities and popularized class rank are among some of the achievements of those who win at school.

Should You Listen to Your Parents College Advice?

For the most part, yes. When it comes to picking a degree or figuring out the finances then your parents can be a huge help.

But there are other things about they don't know a whole lot about, and that's because college has changed so much since they went. 

The basics are the same—find a subject you like and excel at it, enjoy your social life but don’t get carried away, try to get a degree in four years—but some of what they tell you will only get your hopes up or stress you out. Here's what's changed. 

College is Full of Surprises

There are a lot of cliches about college. Even friends, family, and former students can give you false information.

Every school (and people's perceptions of them) are different. And sometimes people just flat out embellish (you know those people). 

They say that Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but they're wrong, it’s called Google.

Everything you need to know to be able to write a good research paper, bring relatable current news to your classroom, back up your arguments and lead a rewarding life you can be found through Google.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad information out there that will clutter your search results and force you to miss the good stuff. We don't want you to miss the good stuff. 

The End of Winter Break...

The start of the second semester is a strange time to be a student. For the past several weeks, your lifestyle has been the complete antithesis to educational development—you’ve probably finished a shameful number of Netflix shows, spent some quality time with hometown friends, and haven’t been waking up before 10 or reading from a textbook.

Now, you'll soon be going back to campus where you'll be asked to do the total opposite.

If you don’t start a club in college, chances are you never will. That’s just the truth. I mean it’s the perfect place. It’s full of active, fun-seeking, mostly adventurous students—enough to flock around most obscure/unique/weird interests you may have.

If you’re down with all this and want to continue or start an epic tradition, then listen up, because there are still some things that can go way wrong.