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How to be Successful in Your Internship

During the summer of 2016, I had an internship at Covestro. Covestro is a material science company located in Robinson, PA. This company has three product categories: polycarbonates, polyurethanes, and coatings/adhesives. I was working in polycarbonates in industrial marketing. At first I was a little bit nervous. I had never been very interested in science and I wasn’t sure how I was going to fully understand Covestro’s products, let alone market them! However, I had heard great things about the company and I was excited to give the internship my best! Overall, it ended up being a wonderful experience and I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it. I even was able to get college credit. Here is advice I would give to anyone taking on a summer internship.

Be Open-Minded

As I said before, I knew nothing about science and I was not sure how this internship was going to go! However, I think what really helped me was to pursue the internship with an open mind and excitement. I choose to focus on the positive and not dwell on the negative. Though an internship at a “science” company may have seemed intimidating at first, by the end of the summer I was convinced there was not a better internship out there!

Ask Questions

Working at Covestro at the beginning of the company was extremely intimidating. When I first began this internship I didn’t even know what a polycarbonate was. This is why it was so important to be asking my managers the correct questions I needed to be asking in order to be successful. Though when you are the “new guy” wherever your internship may be, it is important to remember that they hired you knowing they would need to teach you a few things. There is nothing wrong with asking questions. It took my a couple weeks to gain the confidence I needed to ask questions. I wish I would have known at the very beginning how important and acceptable asking questions is when you don’t understand. There is never a dumb question!

Be a Standout

While you are doing your internship it is important to stand out. You never know what opportunities could come of the internship. It could turn into an internship next summer, or even a job. This is why, if you are lucky enough to have an internship, it is so important to take full advantage. This means don’t be late! Show up every day ready to work hard. Even if the dress code is a little more casual, dress for the job you want and not the job you have. Be sure to dress professional every day and look your best. Lastly, don’t be a slacker. Work your hardest on each project that is given to you. If you do this, you will be sure to be a standout as this is not an overly common trait in today’s world. I know it may be hard to believe, but it just takes a little more effort to be a complete standout. Always show you are eager and excited about the work you are doing. You only have this internship for three months, so make it your goal to be “on” every single day.

Save your Money

While I was working at Covestro, I had the opportunity to live at home with my parents and this enabled me to save a large chunk of the money I made over the summer. I realize this may not be everyone’s experience, and that’s okay! Having an internship, no matter if you need to live somewhere else, is important in itself. But, if you are lucky enough to be able to live at home and eat your parents food, take advantage of this time. I was able to save a fairly large chunk of money from my internship, and about a year later, I can’t tell you how great if feels to be leaving college not completely broke. For me, this looked like packing a lunch instead of going out to eat every day. This also looked like bringing my own coffee or making coffee in the office instead of going to Starbucks in the morning. Its the small things that will add up.

I hope this article gives you a little more confidence and direction heading into your summer internships. I was very pleased with my experience and these are some guidelines I adhered to.

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