Friday, June 14, 2013

5 Lessons Learned from Co-op

It is the midway point of my 6-month co-op at Trenton Thunder. Below are 5 tips that can improve any internship experience.

1) Leaving your comfort zone will open new doors
Now is the time to try new experiences without having to fear falling flat on your face. That is because at this point in your career, it is acceptable to fall flat on your face. Remember, internships are learning experiences. The more involved you are around your workplace, the more it will be noticed and the more likely you will be asked to take on larger responsibility.

2) Be polite to everyone
This tip is seemingly obvious but is easier said than done. No matter who you come in contact with during your co-op experience (fans, coworkers, custodians), be courteous and amiable. You will find you will enjoy your experience better if you are nice to everyone.

3) Never complain
As an intern, your every move is being analyzed whether you realize it or not. Complaining on the job is seen as distasteful and as a sign of immaturity. Do not do it.

4) Coworkers are not your friends
Be sociable with coworkers but not overly sociable. Be mindful of the fact that you are still low-man-on-the-totem-pole. Filter what you say. What might be acceptable to say amongst your friends is not necessarily appreciated amongst coworkers. At the end of the day, you need to impress them. Not the other way around.

5) Use inside voices
A nostalgic piece of advice from everybody’s childhood, do not be obnoxious. The staff have been kind enough to invite you to work in their offices, do not abuse the privilege. Do not become a burden for everyone around you.

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