6 Tips for Managing Your Summer Internship

By Nelson Yan, Class of 2016 Career Advisor

By Nelson Yan, Class of 2016 Career Advisor

With a month to go in your first year, you are probably freaking out about your summer internship: Where am I going to live? Why is the rent so damn high? (shout out to my NY and SF peeps!) I have to wake up at 7am every weekday? Yes. Can I stay at Booth forever? No...so you should probably try and get a full-time offer. How do I maximize my chances for a full-time offer? Keep reading. Trust me, I was in the same boat last year. Here are a few pieces of advice as you venture into your summer.

1. Set the tone early before your internship. Reach out to your manager and ask him/her if there are any readings or materials you could preview to hit the ground running the first day. This sends a strong signal and helps you differentiate yourself from the crowd. It is never too early to get to know someone. 

2. Scope out your project and manage expectations. This is arguably the most important thing. Have an early discussion with your manager about what you are supposed to accomplish and be realistic. Set goals that are measurable and challenging, but ones you can achieve. You should also regularly review these goals with your manager to make sure you can hit them.

3. Build your network within the company. Talk to people from different departments and at different levels within the organization to find out how people actually like working at the firm. Figure out if this is a place you enjoy and where you can see yourself working longer term. Remember you are evaluating the firm also. And keep in mind that it is helpful to identify/ have champions that will vouch for you when your manager is asking around for opinions on whether or not to hire you late in the summer. 

Take a deep breath, and impress...

Take a deep breath, and impress...

4. Stay hungry and humble. Be confident and leave your ego at the door. Work hard, learn as much as you can, and be helpful to your fellow interns. Everyone knows you are smart; what they do not know is if you have the character and dedication to succeed.

5. De-risk… De-risk… De-risk… When you do your final presentation with your team, it should not be the first time your manager is seeing the presentation. Take your deck and review it with key influencers within the group beforehand. Think about all the key deliverables you will have and make sure there are no surprises when you are asked to deliver them.

6. Be thankful. Write thank you notes. People will always remember.

I had an awesome summer in San Francisco and got to know a great group of Boothies really well. I am thankful for that. I trust that you will have a successful internship and summer as well. Good luck!

Nelson is secretly plotting to be a surf bum once he moves out to San Francisco!