An undergrad from my alma-matter, the University of Hartford, asked me for some advice on how to make the most of an internship he just landed. Here’s my response:
Dear So and So,
Congratulations! You’re going to do great. Here are my thoughts:
Show up early and stay late. Never call out, no matter what. Don’t forget to shave every day, and follow their dress code to the T. If you don’t know the dress code, wear a suit the first day. Don’t pretend you know anything, because you don’t, even if you think you do. I thought I knew everything when I was twenty, but I was wrong, and no one likes a punk kid who thinks he knows everything!
Most importantly – make as many contacts and build as many relationships as you can. Getting a job after school is all about relationships. Be friendly and try to make an impression on everyone. Get their cards, look them up on LinkedIn, and ask them if you can hit them up after school for a reference or introduction to someone else.
And try to have fun. After all, it’s only work.
All the best,