Internship… the term can often strike fear into the hearts of many! When we hear ‘intern’ we can think of an image of a poor employee stuck emptying bins, cleaning toilets and taking the daily coffee order. I’m going to let you into a secret, THIS IS NOT THE CASE!
This post has had to be the hardest I have ever had to write, not only because I am trying to sum up my past 6 months as an intern in roughly 500 words but it signifies the end of my time here at NCB. So as I move on from my internship days, I thought I would try to break down the myths of an ‘intern’ and would pass on my top tips for a terrific internship to the next generation of NCB interns!
- Get Stuck In: The perception of the term intern can be off-putting but don’t listen to it, jump in with all you’ve got! The work that you put into tasks will influence what you will get out of them so get into everything you can, whether that’s training or taking notes. Get to know the people you are working with. They have great advice to give both for life and for work so listen to them. Push yourself, try things you thought that you could never do, you might just find a new passion for Excel spreadsheets or even public speaking!
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help: If you don’t understand a task it’s better to ask for help rather than doing it wrong and an internship is the perfect place to learn. Everyone makes mistakes but the choice that you have to make is how you are going to grow from it. Keep at it, there might be days when you feel that you aren’t doing enough or that you just can’t achieve anything but know that this is the purpose of an internship… to learn!
- You’re not Alone: Coming into a new place can be scary but everyone has been there at some point. Before my internship, I had no idea where I wanted my career to go as I was just finishing up my degree but it turns out most people I have met felt the same at my stage. Know that your colleagues are there for you and can help you… you’re part of the team.
- Have Goals: Know what you want to achieve, what you want to get out of the internship and stick to that. Talk with your co-workers about your dreams and visions for your time, they could help you with achieving them. Remember this is a marathon not a sprint so take your time and understand how you could achieve your outcomes.
- Enjoy It: Relax, breathe and just enjoy the experience. Enjoy learning new things, being pushed out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Take pride in what you are doing. It’s actually meaningful, worthwhile and making a difference.
During my time at NCB I have learnt more than I ever expected to about the world of work and about myself. My internship has allowed me to gain valuable skills such as undertaking event planning, LINKS project reviews, involvement in the Young Persons Advisory Group, administrative skills…the list could go on! The experiences were only made possible through the support and learning from the amazing NCB team.
A quote from Chinese philosopher Confucius (450BC) illuminates the importance of what I have learnt from my time at NCB, “Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand.”
So don’t be afraid, get involved because that’s the only way we can ever understand!