Three Tips to Help You Get Through Your First Office Internship

After two years of interning with start up companies, my new full time, office-based internship was a major change. Knowing that I would no longer be attending the casual, weekly “team meeting” at the bar during happy hour, I headed to the mall in early May and bought myself a few pairs of slacks and flats to prepare for the months ahead.

Now that it is July and I have fully adjusted to my office’s environment, I have learned a few vital things for working in an office.

1. Say “Good Morning”
Your very first task of the day should be to say hello to anyone you see on your way to say good morning to your boss. This first act of communication is very important because it shows that you are willing to interact with everyone in the office. This will also come in handy when your summer internship begins during allergy season because you do not want to be the only one in the office who is not receiving a “God bless you” after every sneeze. If you are not a very social person, a smile also works! Silence every time you walk in the room is a lot more uncomfortable than greeting a few people every day.

2. Don’t Wear Headphones
Listening to music is a great way to make time pass while at work, but if your music is on your phone, it might be in your best interest to break out your old iPod from 2009. We all know this happens–one minute you could be changing a song and the next you are on Instagram looking at pictures of your friends at the beach. Now you are daydreaming about how you wish you were actually able to go to the beach on a weekday. Meanwhile, your coworkers are passing by you, probably peering over your shoulder as they walk to the printer. Now everyone is thinking about how they would rather be at the beach, and most importantly they are thinking about how you are not getting any work done.

3. Befriend the IT Guy
If your office hands out laptops to its employees, there is most likely an IT department that handles them. These guys may not seem like anyone you need to know, but along with giving you a laptop, they most likely handle the Wi-Fi and download speed for your computer. Since you are new, they might try to put you on a slower Wi-Fi than everyone else, which also means you will have a slower download speed. You might not mind this at first, but as soon as your boss begins sending you massive files of photos that need to be uploaded somewhere in the next hour and the file is saying it’s going to take 11 hours to download, you are going to be on your hands and knees praying to the IT Gods.

Every new job takes some getting used to, especially when every company’s work environment can be so varied. Just keep in mind that this period of adjustment does not last forever, and the longer you work somewhere, the more incredibly bizarre, and usually hilarious things you will find out about your office.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Kristen VanLeer. 

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