Tips on how to be the best intern, from Lauren Conrad

I hope that everyone has been enjoying my Ask Me Anything themed month on LaurenConrad.com. When I announced this month’s theme in my editor’s letter, I also called on all of you to send your questions my way. I got a great question from a reader named Jaimee Rindy about how to turn an internship into a career. Well, I think the fact that Jaimee is already so concerned about her long-term career goals is a sign that she’s on the right track! But I wanted to address this topic in more detail since it’s something I get asked about all the time.

I had some very memorable internships when I was in school, including my tenure at Teen Vogue and my job at People’s Revolution. Those internships were some of the most valuable learning experiences I had in college, that went far beyond what I was learning in any classroom setting. I credit a lot of my business success to the fact that I was able to learn so quickly and in such a hands-on environment at my internships. So with that in mind, today I am sharing a few tips on how to be a star intern. These are things I’ve learned both from being an intern myself in college and from hiring interns at LaurenConrad.com, Paper Crown, and The Little Market. Check out my advice below…

1. Act like you’re up for the job…

This is another way of saying always be on your very best behavior. If you think of your internship like an extended job interview, you will truly give 110 percent, 100 percent of the time. Once you are hired at a job, it’s probably not the end of the world to show up to the office 15 minutes late every once in a while. But being even a few minutes late to a job interview (or an internship) can potentially damage your supervisor’s view of your work ethic. The same goes for the way you dress. Even if the company has a very casual dress code, you wouldn’t show up to a job interview in jeans and a T-shirt. So with that in mind, I always recommend erring on the side of overdressed when you show up to intern. This is your chance to stand out from the rest of the intern crowd.

2. …But never act like you’re entitled to one.

Of course it’s fantastic if your internship does turn into a full-time job. But you never want to act like you’re entitled to one. Even after you gave it your all, the company simply might not be hiring for a position that you would be suitable for. Keep in mind that the relationships you form at an internship can lead to a valuable connection or a stellar letter of recommendation that will help you land a future position. Or, if it’s truly a great fit, you might be able to apply for a position with the same company you interned with later on down the line. So always stay humble and grateful. This will help you get the most out of your internship while keeping your expectations in check.

Make friends!

I know what you’re thinking: What does making friends have to do with an internship? The answer is… Everything. Ensuring that you leave a lasting positive impression is about more than just doing good work. The interns I’ve hired who were nice, friendly, and meshed well with our other employees (while of course, also doing good work), are the ones who I’ve wanted to go above and beyond to help once their internship is complete. As I’ve said before, networking is all about relationship building. And you want to leave an internship having formed meaningful professional relationships.

I hope those tips helped…

Now, go out and get ‘em!

Do you have any internship advice of your own?

Please share it in the comments below.

XO Lauren

Photos: @LaurenConrad Instagram
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  • Kendall

    These tips are spot on. I am currently an intern, and another tip I have picked up would be to go above and beyond your job title. Ask someone in another department if they need help with something (once your work is done, of course!) or ask to sit in on a meeting. You never know until you ask!

  • This is such great advice! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  • samantha

    such a random question but what brand steamer is this because i have been looking for a good one that actually works for SO long! lol

    • Carley

      It’s sharper image! So funny, I’m googling and amazon-ing right now. I’ve been looking for a good one too.

  • Jaimee Rindy

    Thanks so much Lauren! ❤️ I’m applying for my internship very soon and I will definetely take all these things into account!

  • Great advice! I kind of expected the first tip, but you described it with a different perspective. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    xo Azu

    http://www.raven-locks.blogspot.com

  • Jacqueline Jolani

    These tips are so true. When I was interning between my 3rd and 4th year of my Bachelors in PR, I was up against peers, other colleges and universities. It can be so nerve-wracking but going in with a smile, a can-do attitude and a firm handshake can and will get you far. They expect candidates to be nervous but if you show that you can push through the nerves I stands out. I got my internship in the Healthcare/Non-profit sector and it quickly became a passion for me. Not only can they become your career, but it can become a life changing experience! 🙂

  • Sania

    Love the tips !! The best advice ever !

    http://www,thesaniamahmood.com

  • Miriam Zakharova
  • Kari Guastella

    So true, especially about friends. Even if it doesn’t lead to a job, those could be some great friendships & connections in your field!
    Kari
    http://sweetteasweetie.com/four-cheese-baked-spaghetti/

  • Ashley Diana

    I love these tips! As I am looking for an intern at this present time, your blog title sparked my interested and I was curious what your advice to new interns would be.

    XOXO,
    Ashley Diana
    http://www.AshleyDiana.com

  • Misty Ankney

    Lauren, I am trying to start my own Fashion line. Any advice?

  • Thank you so much for these great tips, Lauren 🙂 I feel like this applies, even though I’m technically not an intern or temp anymore. Being one of the youngest in the office, I feel that these tips are so helpful in getting people to take you seriously haha! Definitely loved reading this informative and helpful post!

    XO, Elizabeth
    http://clothestoyouuu.com/

  • These are so so true even for the full-timers, too. I could have used this advice when I was an intern 5 years ago.

    the golden days | http://herestothegoldendays.blogspot.com

  • Thanks so much for these tips! I’m currently applying for my first internships so this couldn’t have come at a better time. xx

    http://www.shakespeareandsparkle.com/

  • Make a better friend should be the only advice! xoxo

    http://www.alinavlad.com/

  • Aminafied.com

    Such great tips!

    • jamie.durrah

      I currently earn approximately $6.000-$8.000 every month from freelancing online. For those of you who are ready to complete basic at home work for 2-5 hours daily at your home and make decent profit in the same time… Try this job TR.IM/SEG8g

  • I’m a sophomore in college and these tips are definitely super helpful! Thanks Lauren 🙂

    Sincerely, Sam
    http://www.samanthasuarez.com