Oh yes. I went there. Remember Vanilla Ice? If you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s (or if you’ve seen the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies), you know who I’m talking about. His song, “Ice, Ice, Baby” was a one-hit wonder, yet still plays on the radio from time to time. As I embarked on my weekly long run this weekend, I reminisced of the good old days when the song came on my iPod. Believe it or not, Vanilla Ice actually has something to do with your career! To be more specific, I think he had three good points for interns.
Think of an internship as an extended interview. Typically, you have 10-12 weeks to work on a project, deliver results to executives and impress your supervisors in an effort to get a full-time job offer upon graduation. That’s the whole purpose of today’s internships – to convert you to a full-time employee. Gone are the days when interns ran errands, got coffee, and answered the phone all summer. Sure, you might still have to do a few of these things, but all in all, internships have come a long way. So, what are a few things you can be doing as an intern to help secure that job offer at the end of your term? Vanilla Ice knows…
Stop. Before you get everything ready for your internship, sit down and take a moment to set a few personal goals to achieve this summer. You’ll likely have some assigned to you by your supervisor, but why not get a head-start and get the ball rolling?
Collaborate. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. Have you ever heard that phrase? First of all, a pack of dogs like Mr. Burns was always releasing (the hounds) comes to mind when I hear that. Secondly, the world isn’t that bad – and we’re not dogs. In fact, through collaboration, our world is being made better every day. Take time to collaborate with your fellow mentors and interns. Host sessions to generate new ideas, vet the good ones, and streamline processes. Don’t be a dog about it. Be human.
Listen. Slow down and take time to connect with people during your internship. Don’t just make friends with fellow interns – branch out and seek mentors throughout the company. When you go back to school in the fall, don’t lose touch with them. Keep them updated with what you’re doing, what your career aspirations are and how you plan to achieve them. Ask if there is anything YOU can do to help THEM. You’d be surprised at how little this tactic is taken. It can pay off with HUGE benefits, but in the end, it’s about helping someone succeed, right? Listen to find out what their challenges are and help them get past them!
Stop, collaborate and listen… I just caught you singing the song, didn’t I? I love it when I can relate job search advice to pop culture. It makes things more interesting! Before you start your internship (or full-time job), think about what Vanilla Ice would want you to do. Then, go out there and have some fun as you chase your dreams!
And now, for your viewing and listening pleasure, here’s a flashback to the original 1991 music video: