How Not to Get on Kris Schindler’s Nerves: Tips for Incoming Interns

Kermit the Frog once said, “It’s not easy being green.” In my humble opinion, truer words were never spoken. Because I don’t like seeing others squirm, I have decide to write a “how-to” so to speak, about how to be a good intern and more specifically, how to make my boss, Kris Schindler happy.

First: Learn to proofread. Once you think you’ve caught all your mistakes, read it again. Les Anderson, professor at the Elliott School of Communication, taught us to start from the end of your story/piece and work your way up; changing up how you proofread could lead to finding more mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, but if you can fix them all before the boss sees them, why not?

Second: Ask questions. Start-Thinking encourages curiosity and what we expect out of you may differ from each client. Interns don’t/ can’t know everything that’s going on, nor do we expect them to, but we may never know when you aren’t understanding something if you don’t ask questions. To go along with that, if you can find the answer through Google first, do it. It can save you from some embarrassing situations later.

Third: Adhere to corporate culture. At Start-Thinking, we are love the environment and we think you, as well as everyone else, should too. We recycle, print very little (and when we do, it’s often on recycled paper), and prefer walking and riding our company bike to driving, when reasonable. You may not share the same ideals as us, but while you are in the office, make it a priority.

Fourth: Seek out opportunities to learn. This goes along with asking questions. If you don’t understand something, make sure that you find the solution to your problem. Don’t ask someone to do it for you, ask them to teach you.

Fifth: Adjust to the environment. Every office environment is different; in fact, every day could bring a different environment to the office. Learn early on that while our noses may be in our computers, don’t take that as dismissal. But also learn that if a door is closed, it’s closed for a reason.

Sixth: Share your space and resources. Chances are you will be working with more than one intern at a time. In my case, I worked with three. We all had differing schedules and tasks, but when we came together for a project, we needed to be in constant contact to share files. I also shared a desk with one intern, which meant that at the end of the day, the desk was no longer mine. Regardless of whether you share a desk or not, clean up after yourself; it’s a basic rule that most seem to forget.

Seventh: Learn to Open your Mouth and When to Shut It. It may sound harsh, but once you enter the business setting, you learn quickly that what is said in the office doesn’t necessarily need to be repeated outside the office, or ever, in some cases. This tip applies to client relations, personal info and almost always financial information. If you are not sure if you can say it, just don’t say it at all.

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