We recently shared tips focused on professional growth, networking, and maximizing learning during an internship, but personal growth and self-care are arguably just as important. After all, if your internship is miserable and you’re exhausted and unwell, you probably won’t be able to attain your professional goals, anyway. Here are some tips focused more on the personal side of internships…
- Get to know your peers and surroundings, including the place you’re living if your internship is somewhere new for you. Though Vijay Chidambaram is a Professor of Computer Science giving advice to research interns in this thread, we think it’s packed with relevant insights for any intern, including in financial services.
Our favorite tip, related to our value of curiosity: “The worst way you can spend your internship is to focus exclusively on the internship project and talk only with your mentor all summer.”
One of the hardest parts of getting to know people and exploring new places, we’ve found, is choice paralysis: with so many people to possibly meet and places to explore, it’s hard to know where to start. To remedy this while still being strategic in how you spend your time, we suggest setting one or two goals each week for a specific person/people you’d like to meet and places you’d like to explore, and to then allow yourself to be spontaneous in the rest of your explorations–that way, you still optimize a lot of your time, without having to feel guilty for not optimizing every second (which is impossible!).
- Take care of yourself and the basic needs in your life while interning! It’s obvious advice, but easy to overlook when immersed in a new, exciting, intensive experience like a summer internship. We love this thread from a bunch of nurses & physicians; even though their advice is geared toward medical interns, we think it’s applicable to everyone. Here are some of our favorite tips.
- “Splurge on a really good eye mask + noise-canceling machine so you can sleep well.” – @lilaflavin
“Put your paycheck on direct deposit and your bills on autopay. Do not get bogged down in late fees b/c you’ve neglected to check your mailbox for a month!” – @leahmadelineb
- “Write a letter to yourself at the beginning of the year, to read later in the year when you’re having a hard day to see how much you have grown.” – @rose_m_olson
- “If any part of you thinks you should schedule an appointment with a therapist, do it.” – @colleenmfarrell
- “Pick a place to keep your ID badge/wallet/keys/etc. and never put it anywhere else. Tired and frustrated, you don’t want to spend time looking for it in the AM.” – @MichaelCosimini
- “Put together a little go bag of ibuprofen/tums/zofran, lotion, travel deodorant/facial care essentials, change of underwear/socks, and a pair of comfy socializing clothes for at work.” – @blikethecheese
- “Realize that it’s 100% OK to NOT know *everything* but it’s 100% not OK to PRETEND you do.” – @GreenbbsERdoc
Lastly, we encourage you to try this tip from CEO Ross Overline:
“Revisit your mission and values – are they bigger than yourself? Do you have them written down and does your greater purpose resonate and feel real and personal?”
We’re eager to hear from you about your summer internship experiences! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org.