My last piece of advice to any new intern is to simply be a friend to the people you work with.Whether you report to a team, a supervisor or a different person every week- the best way to understand the company is to understand the people working there and helping them understand you.
While you may not get along with every person the same, there is a level of respect you gain for a person when you know more than just what they eat for lunch everyday. You’ll find that some are more open to side chatter throughout the day or ‘punny’ emails in their inbox. You’ll also find the guy with the headphones that still looks at you with the “can you be quiet” face even when he has music playing in his ears. Although you are in a temporary role as an intern, don’t discredit your personality in the work place. This is what creates that office culture.
A few simple ways to ‘be a friend’ inside the office:
- Throw out the idea to do something out of the ordinary one day a week to learn what your colleagues are interested in (like a favorite t-shirt contest)
- Ask for suggestions of places to go around the city- you may learn that your boss is actually part of a running club that tries a new pub every Tuesday (true story)
- Tag along with someone to grab lunch (they’ll most likely pay since you’re poor)
- Offer to play some tunes or ask what they are always jamming out to with their headphones plugged in (ask that one guy with the headphones always in)
I came from an office of all women, champagne at lunch, and Chris Brown Pandora station playing Monday-Friday to an almost silent office of middle-aged men with a fridge full of expired sauces and La Croix (sparkling water). While these experiences are extremely different, they are both enjoyable and memorable- because of the friends I’ve made of the day one colleagues.