Thriving (not Dying) with Internships Pt.2

Hey everyone! I’m back with part 2 of this (not so) epic blog about how to succeed at an internship. This not only being my first one, but also having traveled cross country to California from Chicago to do this has been an adjustment to say the least. Getting the know the area, meeting new roommates, becoming familiar with coworkers; it’s all in the game of trying to do well at an internship. While there are internships that have a lot less customer service and people interaction than the one I was in (I’m so jealous of those who can live out there hermit internship fantasies), people skills and making connections was the most important aspect of doing well at my internship. My internship’s entire program revolved around the hashtag #connectionsmatter (I know, long and seemingly boooring), however, there’s more truth to this than one could ever imagine. I had to speak with coworkers, mentors, business owners, companies, supervisors, students, and on and on and on. My voice felt like it would give way at any second. Regardless, I could not be more thankful that I talked everyone’s ears off! Making connections with as many people as possible saved me more times than I would like to count. Beyond that, I know how a large and strong network at both USD and the San Diego to Tijuana area having working with the Iman School in Mexico providing some us some of their students. If you want to make your internship go beyond the couple of months you work there, make those connections. It might sound annoying and a couple of months could be a huge amount of time for some people, but it FLIES by. It felt like yesterday I was awkwardly walking in late to my first team meeting with foggy glasses from running across campus after helping out the supervisor (my first day on the job was not the prettiest to say the least…yikes). BUT, that is why I went out of my way to make better impressions upon my fellow team members. The saying “you only get one chance to make a good first impression”, while having some merit, is a LOAD OF BOLOGNA to me. (omg I’m using such dated expressions. wait, who uses the word ‘dated’? god, turning 20 has made me old. my back is breaking and I’m sounding like an old 60s cartoon. OFF TOPIC) As I was saying before I interrupted myself, while making a great first impression may make things easier, that does not set one up for success nor failure. I have had countless times of giving both good and bad first impressions, but all ending with amazing positive connections with people. OOH, TIP! Ask others what their first impression of you was. Don’t worry, you won’t sound tooooo vain, but it is incredibly helpful. That is how I learned that most of my friends and coworkers thought I was ‘just ok’ when they met me to now being the amazing friend and reliable person I am to them today (see? only a bit of an ego boost). The only people you NEED to make an amazing first impression on are interviewers for a job, but even then they might see something in you that you may not express verbally and think unnecessary. I swear, people who do interviews have some sort of other-worldly power. Wow, I have written way more than I thought and this could be a lot to handle, so let’s cut it off right here. If you want more tips for surviving and thriving in an internship, maybe I could post a couple of more blogs. You can always contact me, Halima Ling, and ask my personally about my internship experience. Hope you have had fun reading and see you next time!