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Intern Diaries: What I Learned at My Summer Internship

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Madison Feller is currently working as the editorial intern here at Levo. Throughout the summer, she’ll be posting an occasional Intern Diary and sharing some of the problems she’s faced, solutions she’s discovered, and tips that may be helpful.

It’s the last week of my internship, and I can’t explain how upset I am to be leaving a city and company I’ve grown to love. To all my fellow interns out there, I hope you’ve had a productive last couple of months and that you’re walking away with new skills, new contacts, and new passions. Summer is the perfect time to gain valuable experiences and explore new industries, and internships are the perfect way to do all of that.

There are so many different ways to be a great intern, depending on your intended career, a company’s size and culture, and your own personal goals. I know that on my road to being the best intern ever that you should totally hire right now I still have a lot to learn and improve upon. But for this last Intern Diary, I’d like to share some of the biggest and most important lessons I’ve learned so far:

“If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton

Throughout the summer I’ve had the chance to talk to a handful of women and hear how they’ve come to be where they are in their careers. And if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s this: No one does it alone. We know how important, how crucial, it is to network and find mentors who have your best interest at heart. From the person who first decided to give you an interview to the person who supported you when you decided to quit your job in search of something better, we all stand on the shoulders of others.

As interns, we shouldn’t just be focused on finding people to help us—we need to start by helping each other. It can be as simple as a quick message to a friend telling her you’re proud of the work she’s doing or passing along information about a cool opportunity that you’re not interested in, but you know your classmate would love. When you look out for the people around you, you make your own personal network that much stronger. And who doesn’t want to be surrounded by a group of accomplished women? …Especially when you all helped each other get there.

On the other hand, it’s equally as important to remember that the hard work, dedication, and perseverance has to come from you. No one is going to make you lean in—you have to find that drive yourself. All of the women I’ve met and worked with this summer are accomplished because they’re competent, hard working, kind people who always strive for more.

And lastly, once you’ve rocked your internship or gotten that new job or aced your hardest class, remember to take time to celebrate. Your hard work has paid off, and it’s important to give yourself a little pat on the back. If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that reaching your goals can feel amazing, as long as you give yourself the opportunity to enjoy it.

Do you have any tips for future interns? Leave them in a comment below!

Photo: JPM / Image Source / Getty Images

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