This is my second internship, my first being last summer, and I have noticed a pattern in how I have felt as an intern throughout the summer.
The start of an internship can be scary, and it usually involves asking lots of questions. You don’t feel comfortable yet; you still feel new. You don’t know your fellow interns very well yet. This stage can be long, but don’t fret–it is a necessary step.
The middle (aka the “golden” moment):
I have noticed that there is a definite point in every intern’s experience where they notice that one feels comfortable. You ask an appropriate amount of questions, and you can complete tasks on your own. You finally feel like you know your fellow interns, and wow– you are all weird. Both weird in a goofy, unique, awesome way, but also a “one of us” weird. You are all obsessed with the industry you are interning in. This golden moment is key–it is instrumental in your learning experience. It means that you are truly learning about your internship industry and the tasks that you are doing. It is all about how comfortable you feel. One day, you just notice that you don’t worry about sounding stupid when asking questions, you don’t dread lunch small talk, and you enjoy the company of your fellow interns.
My internship this summer is not over yet, but last year “the end” was rewarding. You feel like you contributed to the organization, and your final feedback from your supervisor has possibly left you giddy with excitement. You may or not be exhausted from the long hours, but you are proud of the work you have accomplished.
The life cycle of an intern is short, but clearly defined. For this reason, it is important to notice these small moments of change in your internship experience.