Being an intern can be hard, for many interns it is the first time they have worked in an office or studio and it can be a harsh adjustment. These 5 tips will help you when the tough gets going to make sure that both you and your new employer get the most out of our placement.
Whether it be for 2 months or 12 months you need to show that you want to be there, that you deserve to be there because most intern positions have tens if not hundreds of students going for them. So get stuck in, talk in discussions, especially if you are being asked your opinion - make your time in the limelight count.
Do Not Be Late. There is no other way of putting it. We all get stuck in traffic from time to time and the trusty tube occasionally fails us but a constantly tardy attitude to both meetings and deadlines is a no go. A lot of the time you will be feeding into an ongoing project as your tardy reply could mean that the entire project is late.
Stick to the deadlines, if you are struggling to keep up make sure you let someone know - this isn't school and you aren't going to get told off! You should get support and the help to be able to finish on time, as long as you let people know at the point you are struggling rather than when you are late.
Make sure you know what amount of time is suitable for lunch and breaks. A 2 hour lunch on your third day is probably not going to be looking too good for you! This also goes for booking time off, give everyone a good amount of notice so that they can provide cover for you.
Learn the systems
We run our business through many systems and every business will have their own way for doing it. For us it's all about mobility, we are taking on more international projects and our clients have always been extremely international. We believe that our service shouldn't be altered if we are running our project in our back garden or in Dubai/Chicago/South of France so our way of doing things is extremely mobility based.
We run our business through a CRM (insightly), project management (basecamp), online storage (Drive & Dropbox), calendar (Google) and email system (Gmail through Google Apps for work) all that can be run remotely from a laptop anywhere around the world - if you don't mind small text they can even be run from your phone!
This means you can be extremely mobile but it also means you need to be able to juggle a lot of things at the same time. If you learn the systems however, they will make your life a dream - no more tearing your hair out because the office is closed and you need to know how much a fabric is. Infact a lot of our suppliers are moving to online tracking systems that allows you to see the amount of stock they have instantly, today is a fast moving world and we aim to be at the forefront of it in both design and administration.
Take it seriously
No falling asleep, look after yourself and be sensible about your schedule. Don't go out clubbing on your second night, this is going to be different and you will need to look the part at all times. It sounds obvious but if you want to be taken seriously when you are super new at something you are going to have to make sure you are taking what is asked of you seriously. You are part of a team who is going to be looking after this person's home - the place they are going to retreat to at the end of the day and cast off their worries. With that in mind they need to be reassured that you are going to be as interested in creating that home as the rest of the team - whether you are an intern or the senior designer.
Whether it be to instructions or critic and take in on board and see what you can learn from it. You are not expected to be perfect but if you are able to adjust from a university setting to a work one you will find that your biggest asset is to listen. Listen to what makes projects easy, what makes them difficult, what you can improve on, what people enjoy working on and you will be able to find how you can add the most amount of value to the business you are an intern at - they will value you more than anything for this.
Most importantly is that you enjoy it, you are starting a career that is a passion for many of those in it - you should feel the same way. Remember to never lose sight of the world you are hoping to create for yourself, it's not just a 9-5, it should be something more fun that pays the bills.