Our Thoughts

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As summer is coming to a close, we asked our fearless and fabulous intern, Kayla Burkard, to reflect on her experience with Think Up this summer. She has crafted a pretty impressive list of do’s and don’ts…we’re just impressed she survived.

Kayla BurkardThe Do’s and Don’ts of a Summer Internship
by Kayla Burkard

  1. Do…get to know your “superiors” and the people around you. They have literally been there and done that. There is no right or wrong way to have a career, and everyone’s path is different; some typical… most atypical; which means they can provide insights and advice that you cannot get in a typical classroom environment.
  2. Don’t…sit on Facebook or the phone all day long (unless of course you are responsible for answering the phones). Odds are, some days will be much slower than others, and while its fine to check Social Media every now and again, constantly checking your newsfeed makes you come across as unprofessional and uninterested.
  3. Do…explore other departments. The whole point of an internship is to figure out what you want to do after graduation. 9 times out of 10 they will welcome your interest with excitement and be more than willing to teach you. Not only does it expose you to different areas, it will also give you a much better understanding of how the company operates and remains successful.
  4. Don’t…succumb to office gossip. As your internship progresses co-workers become friends and your conversations become more social, which is fine; but keep it out of office hours, and never about your coworkers. Not only is this completely unprofessional, it’s just plain mean. Remember, if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all.
  5. Don’t…be afraid to mess up. There’s no question that we all want to impress our bosses and show how valuable we can be (don’t they see just how impactful we could be full time?) The reality is, we are going to screw up, and guess what, they expect us to. Every company operates differently, so a bit of a learning curve is anticipated. Now, that doesn’t mean you should make a habit of producing subpar work, but mistakes do happen.
  6. Do…get involved. If you’re lucky enough to be interning at a company that has a strong external culture, make sure to capitalize on it! Join the summer baseball league, book club, or that weekly offsite happy hour (assuming you’re 21 of course.) It’s a great way to get to know your coworkers in a fun and stress free environment.

On behalf of the entire ThinkUp crew…thank you Kayla!