Great job! You’ve solidified your commitment to the internship, found a dependable sublet through Craigslist, and even arranged an awesome selection of outfits for Week 1. Don’t let your summer days go to waste in a stuffy office – you’re a newbie in an unfamiliar place, so make the most of it! By setting the right priorities, you can make this great opportunity even greater than what you could have ever dreamed of! We’ve broken down our Summer Internship Bucket list into two categories–Work and Play–because experiencing both is essential for your most extraordinary summer. Make it count!

[Related: 8 Tips For Starting Your Internship Off Right]


1. Attend (or create!) a weekly Lunch n’ Learn.

Some companies can foster meaningful connections between interns and executives by hosting weekly lunches that are dedicated to fostering discussions. If yours doesn’t provide it, start your own. Every week, set up a coffee or lunch date with one higher-up; you could even arrange multiple appointments at once for the upcoming weeks! Establishing these connections is the definitive key to making you a noteworthy Intern.

2. Ask your boss to lunch.

employees asking their female boss to lunch

As a new intern, one of your top priorities should be to arrange lunch with your supervisor. Scheduling it for about one week into the internship will give you plenty of questions and topics to discuss! Establishing a close relationship with your boss can open up an entire realm of opportunities.

3. Draw up a list of 5 dream coffee dates—and make it your mission to do it.

I’m not referring to your direct manager; think bigger – the CEO, Owner, and Founder of a major company! Imagine how powerful it would be if you had someone like that advocating for you and endorsing your work. Take a moment to consider: who in the business or local area would you be elated and honored to get coffee with? Pen it down, post it up – then use the next couple of weeks to reach out via email and make your dream come alive. Get going!

(Believe it or not, during the summer I had a unique opportunity to have breakfast with an Editor-in-Chief and then coffee with another – all in one day! #24houranxietyattack)

4. Surprise your boss or team with something.

Picture a feasible solution for one of the company’s minor impediments, and then create an actionable plan to get it done. It doesn’t matter if it is designing a new logo or revitalizing their newsletter; your creativity can make all the difference! Bear this in mind before you start and make sure to introduce it halfway through your presentation. With such sharp foresight, you’ll blow your team away!

5. Get awesome business and/or thank you cards.

Don’t ever be caught without a stash of this Pro-Networker currency; they are invaluable! My managers were highly impressed when they received my personalized business and thank you cards with my faux-logo on them; Standing out among the deluge of Papyrus items that fill their desks all summer, it truly made an impression. You can either get creative and craft your custom cards at home, or save time and money with pre-made options available from sites like VistaPrint.

6. Find at least One Fairy Godmentor.

The vast majority of my professional successes can be attributed to my Fairy Godmentors. These remarkable individuals, including editors, supervisors, and colleagues I encountered during internships, have continued to offer me invaluable advice and open doors for me by guiding me on the path to success. The connection I had with them has been essential in helping build a solid foundation for whatever comes next in life. It’s much like dating, you can tell when there is a special connection. So go out and connect with someone this summer! A useful tip to remember: After each meeting, ask if they know anyone else who could help guide you in your journey.


1. Get a bucket list partner.

Sticking to your to-do lists can become overwhelming and difficult when done solo. Look for a supportive friend, like a roommate or coworker, who could serve as an accountability partner so that you don’t get discouraged in completing them. Present this list to your acquaintances and have them join you on these Bucket List Outings – or, make it a goal to meet someone new for every adventure. Welcome, new faces!

2. Take a free-anything class, as long as it’s something you’ve never done.

Free classes are usually geared towards beginners—which means no, you won’t be the only one there who is completely unfamiliar with Bachata. Not to mention that since it’s free, what do you have to lose? It’s a win-win situation!\

3. Attend 5 artistic performances you’ve never been to.

If you enjoy tapping your toes to the beat of live music, have you ever experienced an innovative musical improv show? Have you ever been enthralled by an awe-inspiring live slam poetry event? Take the time to experience some performances that you haven’t seen before. This imaginative break will help reinvigorate those hectic workdays!

4. Do indoor things, outside.

Are you longing for summer just like me, ever since the days turned chilly and temperatures plummeted past 70? Search the web to find your city’s most popular outdoor movies, beer gardens and rooftop hangs! You don’t have to be on a beach getaway for that perfect summer glow.

5. Find a handmade market or craft fair.

What is the ultimate way to dive into the unique atmosphere of your city? Discover the amazing talent your city has to offer! From local craft fairs to weekly farmers’ markets that feature products from homegrown artists – explore what all the buzz is about and check out these unique finds. Skip the touristy knick-knack shops and give your loved ones a genuine experience of your new home.

6. Join a group or club for Your Thing. 

So, in addition to conquering internships and excelling at life, maybe you’re also a passionate ukulele player (or some other hobby outside of work). Many believe that summer internships require you to abandon the activities and hobbies you enjoy. Wrong. You’re almost certain to find a group of people who share your interests in your area, so why not search them out, email them or attend their next gathering? You never know what amazing connections you’ll make!

7. Challenge your new city to a Hometown Foods Contest.

In my quest to discover the world’s most delectable Pad Thai takeaway, which has yet to be dethroned by any place I have visited thus far, I have encountered an abundance of remarkable restaurants. Compose a list of all your hometown favorites, then set out to hunt down and savor even tastier versions in the new city. Not only does traveling help to alleviate any potential homesickness, but it also introduces you to a variety of cultural cuisines.

8. Make a fancy list.

During your internship, chances are you’ll hear tales of the most luxurious bars, restaurants, clubs, and gatherings. Are you looking to make the most of your summer? Why not set yourself and your friends a challenge to discover something unique and exciting this year? Get out there, explore, and see what interesting things you can find! With a bit of inventive strategizing, such as tracking down free events or discounted tickets, you can be sure that your efforts will pay off and provide you with remarkable experiences in places you never dreamed existed.

9. Get people in your bucket!

Creating a bucket list can be incredibly exciting, but the adventure is even more thrilling when you share your pursuits and accomplishments with others. Get your hands on a free WordPress or Blogspot blog and craft an introduction post that contains the entire list of items you wish to share. Then, don’t forget to spread it around; make sure everyone knows about this great resource; Your friends and family will be thrilled to follow your progress, or give you some good-natured ribbing if it doesn’t go as planned! Additionally, have fun with it by curating the journey on Pinterest like this inspiring woman.

[Related: 3 Things To Do at the End of Your Summer Internship]

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