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04/23/2014

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First Internships and First Impressions

 

Kavaliro is always happy to have student interns who are excited to learn more about the staffing industry. Michael Ingram and Erica Garcia were the Kavaliro interns for the 2014 Spring semester. This was their first internship and both finished feeling accomplished and full of new knowledge. When asked what advice they would give to students beginning an internship, they provided a few helpful guidelines.

 

-Ask Questions-

Internships are a learning experience and no one is expected to be perfect right away. It is your job, as an intern, to ask questions and learn as much as you can.  If you’ve exhausted all options in finding the answer to your question, don’t be afraid to ask a staff member. It will look worse if you mess up a major project and have to waste time redoing it. Instead, simply ask questions in the beginning and avoid issues all together. Then, work hard to retain all of the questions you’ve had answered so you don’t have to ask over again. A good tip from the Kavaliro staff is to write everything down, even if the answer seems minimal. As an intern, it is helpful to have a running list of tasks you will need to complete regularly with answers and steps to achieve it.

-Learn the Office Culture-

Every office is different!  While some have their associates dressed in a suit and tie everyday, others are more relaxed and encourage a more casual vibe. Learn the office culture during the first week and emulate it for the rest of your time there. “I remember on my first day it was so quiet while I was working and one of the partners came in and told me that I could play internet radio as I worked," said Erica Garcia, Kavaliro intern. “From that moment on, 90’s radio could always be heard around my desk, and it was also a great ice breaker when meeting new people.” Becoming a part of the office culture will help you to meet even more of the staff, and can even lead to helping those people with larger tasks.

-Be a Human Sponge-

Learn as much as you can during your internship. Engage in different projects and volunteer yourself in order to learn every aspect of the business. For example, when Michael Ingram, Kavaliro intern and political science major, was asked to work on a budget spreadsheet he felt a little out of his element.  “I worked on the budget using Excel, a task that was completely foreign to me, and I did well! It showed me that I can do anything I set my mind to.” Even though this task may not be a part of Michael’s every day routine in his future career, he will always have the skill if it is needed. Being well versed in all office tasks is impressive to any employer. As an intern, you may be asked to do something that is out of your realm, but you never know when it may be helpful to you in the future.

-Learn About Yourself-

The main goal of an internship is to learn about a possible future career and create relationships. Try to imagine yourself working one of the positions in your office.  Can you see yourself actually working in this field for the rest of your life? No matter what the answer is your internship has already been successful.  This is your opportunity to grow professionally and possibly earn a job after graduation.

An internship is a great way to show your potential employer that you have not only learned about your desired profession, but that you have experience in it. Both Michael and Erica felt like their internship at Kavaliro not only helped their office and human resource skills, but also helped them to be better prepared for interviews and future job opportunities. The spring semester went by fast, and Kavaliro wishes them the best of luck in what are sure to be two very bright futures!

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