4 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Internship

Hello readers, it has been a long time since I last wrote anything. My last article about motivation was written 1 year, 8 months, and 5 days to be precise. A fairly long hibernation one would say, and well, I have to admit – I did not feel as motivated to focus on writing. But as they say – “let bygones be bygones”. I am here again (hopefully more regularly this time around). And this time, I would like to share with you what I feel has shaped me the most in the past 1 year, 8 months, and 5 days – My summer INTERNSHIP.

Yes, you read it correctly. While I was away, I graduated and now hold a majors degree. Isn’t that great?

I learned many new things as part of the process (I will write a separate blog post on those hopefully in the coming week). For this post, let us focus on how my 3-month business analyst internship took me through a journey filled with a roller-coaster of learnings. And my key takeaways from the internship process.

Internships form a critical part of many courses and can be an important foundation stone for one’s career. For a student, proper tips and guidance (or its lack thereof) can play a pivotal role. So here are my tips for you which should be helpful for anyone who is about to undertake an internship anytime soon.

1. Give yourself time, do not be overwhelmed

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As a student, joining an organization as an intern can be quite overwhelming, especially if you do not have any prior work experience. The nervousness of meeting new people, understanding the business processes and trying to gel in, the anxiety can easily take over.

During my internship, I realized that things iron out themselves if you give them time. You may feel the urge to do it all at once and prove it to everyone. But trust me, it does not help.

Patience pays huge dividends, impulsiveness pays you a dime.

2. Be curious

Perspective changes everything. Your urge and enthusiasm can come across as either curiosity. Or it can be perceived as your pride of overachieving simple things.

I agree that the zeal to know more, to go that extra mile to extract that tiny little piece of information, and the satisfaction is PRICELESS.

BUT – doing it the right way is equally important.

Be patient, informed, and updated but never be in a rush.

3. No question is a bad question

Ask as many questions as you want. Ask it to whoever you want to, irrespective of how high they are on the corporate ladder.

Leaders always entertain your questions and try to provide you inputs and improvements. They give you a direction to think in, resources to refer to and opportunities to improve.

Of course, the way you put across your question will also determine how well you are answered. But don’t be afraid to ask a question, which brings me to my next learning –

4. Just asking questions is not enough

Imagine walking up to your mentor and asking the following –

Hey, What are the best ways to allocate funds for a marketing campaign to promote XYZ?

Vs

Hey, I was studying ways to allocate funds for a marketing campaign to promote XYZ, here’s what I found – XXX, YYY, and ZZZ. Can you help me pick the best one or suggest an alternative way?

Did you notice the difference between the two approaches?

One is a simple query, while the other is powerful, worked out, semi-cooked research with a definitive set of items to choose from.

The former lacks intent, initiative, and thoughtfulness, while the latter shows readiness and preparedness.

So, next time you ask any question, think through it. Do your homework, and list down the possible solutions. Once done, proceed with the opinion seeking/help from others.

That’s all folks! If you liked this or have anything to add, comment below. If you have any other queries or would like to connect, let me know. I would be glad to take it up with you.

Till then, keep learning!

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