What you need to learn from Internships

Unlearning comes before learning. That’s what I want you to understand prior to diving into the professional world.

It’s internship season in Tunisia so I thought about sharing what helped me in my first job showing up as professional as everyone else while being the youngest. I’ve never missed a summer internship since I started university and these experiences have payed off!
I missed on a lot of fun though, I’m not gonna lie. I was cursing my existence when waking up at 7 in the morning knowing it’s completely optional and I could just sleep and do nothing instead. Yet, these experiences -bad and good- shaped me in so many ways!

Without further ado here’s what you should be learning if you are an intern:

Work ethics: This includes appearance, attendance, attitude, communication, cooperation, character, respect, teamwork along side with organizational skills.

You should keep an eye on how employees behave in the back-office as well as front-office, in other words take notes on how employees act, communicate and handle relationships in the office with their colleagues as well as with the customers.

Communication skills: Communicating well is the way to go in all its aspects! This includes paying attention to body language, listening carefully, double checking information, paying attention to details, avoiding gossip, treating everyone equally and maintaining the positive attitude.. etc

Adaptability: Change is uncomfortable. Adapting to a new work environment even if it is temporary can be challenging that’s why you should adopt a growth mindset, and acknowledge that you’re just experimenting. Here comes again the importance of unlearning, in order to learn new things you should pursue the unfamiliar and learn from the opposite.

Because let’s be real, not all work environments are healthy, not all co-workers have the best relationships, not every boss is friendly, and the thing is we’re not expecting them to be especially when we’re interns. Our only mission has to be: watch and take notes.

The truth about my internships is, I’ve loved spending time in some companies and I hated every minute spent in others! Yet, I learned a lot from every experience. I now know exactly how does a healthy work environment look like and how vital communication is between team members. And most importantly I have a clear vision of what type of co-worker or a boss I want to be.

I wanna end this blog by telling you about one of the first mistakes that I have done in my first internship in a Bank. I’ve forgotten to add a comma “ , ” to a cheque. I sent 300 000 TND to a client instead of 300 TND. It felt like a HELL of embarrassment at that time. I will never ever forget it. I hope this was helpful friends, enjoy your internships!

I would love see you in the comments below! Until next time.

Haifa Lazreg

Creating content since 2014

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