Slow and Steady

“It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint”


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If you’re like me or any other millennial- this is the common cliché you’ve heard many times throughout young-adulthood and never realized how viable it was until you became “the intern.”

Nothing feels better than checking something off a list, turning in a final project or shutting down your laptop on Friday at 5 p.m. Well- I’m here to tell you that this feeling doesn’t happen often, but don’t be discouraged.

While lists and deadlines are great for staying organized, try not to use those as a measurement of how you’re doing overall in your role as an intern.

Often times us ‘millennials’ are perceived as not-so great listeners who want to get their work done as quick as possible and expect that work to be perfection. So here are my top three tips of how to combat this stigma and prove your boss (or colleagues) wrong:

#1 Think before you ask a question: Asking questions is the best way to learn, but be sure to provide context to what project you’re working on when you do ask. Keep in mind that your screen isn’t shared with your boss- so chances are they have no idea what you’re working on exactly in that moment.

#2 Slow down: Remember those deadlines I mentioned above? They are your best friends when they are far away. Try not to rush the assigned task if it’s not your best work. Your boss will appreciate the extra time you take to really perfect the material. Secondly, it’s much more rewarding when you get zero to little feedback because your boss was so impressed the first go-around.

#3 Active listening: Something I learned at a previous internship that brings me much of my success here. Even if you aren’t working on projects with other colleagues, keep your ears peeled when conversations are happening around the office. Not only will you grasp what’s happening in the business, but also see other opportunities to take on.

P.S. Sticky notes are your best friend, so write these down and stick them on your laptop until you realize you’re no longer ‘the Millennial Intern.’

– Hannah Anderson

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8 Responses to Slow and Steady

  1. chriskeizur says:

    I love the idea of slowing down. I found early in my internship I was trying to pump things out as quickly as possible because that is what I thought the company wanted me to do. But I realized it was better to take my time and make things better rather than faster. I should spend an extra 30 minutes editing something. I also think the active listening is important because it lets you get the most out of your internship.

  2. kalinske says:

    I think asking questions is really important. I try not to assume anything so I can confirm later that all the small details are right from within a project.

  3. You made some good points about taking your time and not rushing projects just because of a deadline. It is obviously important for us to put out our best work. Also, I agree, sticky notes are consistently covering my desk at my internship. Good stuff Hannah, keep up the hard work.

  4. pdxsx says:

    Well done, Hannah. Great tips for any young pro to consider!

  5. I completely agree that we all need to slow down and take a second look at things. We’ve become so accustomed to trying to finish our homework in as little time as possible that it’s hard to break the habit. However. it is so rewarding to submit something to your boss and receive no edits back that it’s worth the extra effort.

  6. sydneyandree says:

    I have definitely learned the importance of active listening as well. I think it is super beneficial to sit in on as many meetings/calls as possible in order to stay aware of what’s going on outside of your assigned projects. When I sit in on meetings, I like to write down any lingo I don’t understand and take a few minutes to ask someone for clarification after the meeting. Great job Hannah, keep it up!

  7. horsttyler says:

    I agree that active listening can be key to understanding your work environment and being able to adapt to it. I have also done my fair share of listening in on co-workers around the office and I feel that it has been beneficial for me when it comes to knowing how to act around the office and how to acclimate in the work climate. It has also helped me get to know my co-workers in a way that I know how to interact with them and work together with them.

  8. I love sticky notes! Slowing down is the hardest thing for me to gauge as an intern. If it feels like my best work and I’ve read it over at least twice but I only spent an hour total on it, does it mean I keep staring at it or do I just send it over for my boss to take a look at? Once you get a better feel for what your boss looks for and the notes they give you, I think it makes it easier to make the necessary changes BEFORE it crosses your boss’ desk. Good job, Hannah!

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