How to Survive Your First Office Internship


Working in an office for the first time can be a pain. Like why-the-hell-did-I-sign-up-for-this-when-I-could-be-working-at-summer-camp kind of pain. If you’re lucky, you’ll at least have your own cubicle (I’m at a tiny desk in someone’s office). Maybe you’ll even have a nice view of the city skyline, but nothing makes your eyes glaze over quicker than sitting in a chair staring at a desktop for 8 hours. Here are few tips to help ease the pain of your first administrative internship:
Ask questions. On the first day of my internship, I was hit with a ton of new information. Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions if you don’t understand something or how to complete a particular task. It’ll make your life a lost easier.
Bring snacks. Ideally you should bring stuff to rejuvenate you, like blueberries and salt-free nuts, but if you need sugar to feel prepared to tackle your day, then by all means pack some chocolate, too. The only thing that makes sitting in a chair in a cramped space worse, is sitting in that space while hungry.
Listen to your favorite music. If it isn’t too much of a distraction and your supervisor is okay with it, turn on your favorite jams. It’s white noise that much more pleasant than everyone’s typing.
Get moving. My first day at my new internship was awful—for many reasons—one being my back was killing me. After sitting for all those hours, I was stiff and extremely irritated. If you’re working on a tight schedule, find excuses to get up and make copies or get a drink of water. Get the blood circulating and your body will thank you for it later.
Ask for more work. I know, I know—who wants to work at… work. But if you’re anything like me, you need to keep busy to keep from feeling trapped in your little space. Ask your supervisor for new tasks when you’ve complete the ones you’ve been assigned. Not only will this keep you busy, but it’ll show your supervisor that you take initiative in the work place, which is a great impression to leave.
Often administrative work, especially as an intern, can be extremely mundane. Hopefully you’re at least interested in the work the company you’re interning at is doing. If not, finish you’re internship strong so you leave a good impression and thank the folks at your job for the opportunity. Take the time to network and learn as much as you can about the industry your interning at. The one guarantee about internships is, whether good or bad, they only last for a brief period of time.
[Lead image via Goodluz /Shutterstock]

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