It’s that time of year again.
The summer in Boston is always beautiful, especially in Nickerson HQ’s neighborhood, overlooking the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Food trucks have come back to Atlantic Avenue, people are out and about stretching their legs after a long winter’s (and spring’s, if we’re being honest) chill, and the boats have returned to the Harbor in full force. The city is teeming with activity.
And here at Nickerson, it’s no different.
We’re always hustling, but this time of year we’re especially active, as there’s a special kind of energy that comes with this flood of activity. Specifically, our interns are here.
We have a robust program that welcomes interns for a variety of functions, including marketing, public relations, social media, and accounting, to name a few. We always look forward to joining their enthusiasm with ours and turbo-charging our outreach and execution during the summer months.
So, to them, and to all interns and new graduates heading into the professional environment for possibly the first time, I offer three bits of advice to help you not simply survive, but thrive:
- Network. I’m passionate about networking. It’s not about collecting contact information, it’s about connecting people with the information or connections they need to succeed. Always remember: when you help people, they will remember you, and far, far more often than not, will help you in some way down the road. Some call it karma, I call it common sense and the right thing do.
And equally important: remember you’re not only networking externally, you’re networking internally! Make as positive an impression you can on as many of your colleagues as possible. They can serve as invaluable references down the road and potential influencers in the hiring or promotion process.
- Be mindful of your online presence. I cannot emphasize this enough. Your future hiring managers will Google candidates (we did). If they don’t like what they find, then your first impression has already been made and the door has been slammed shut before you ever even got a chance to get a foot in it. Yes, I want to see your writing samples and pictures. IF they don’t include that profanity-laced tirade you shared to Facebook or selfies from all the parties you were the center of while in school.
In all seriousness, it’s wise to remember that you’re in the pros now: you represent an organization, something bigger than yourself, and your host – and others – pay careful attention to how your represent yourself online.
- Don’t get ready, BE ready! This is a personal mantra of mine. Much of success lies in the preparation you make in advance. Regardless of the project you’re working on, try to anticipate the value you can bring to the next meeting or planning session.
Treat meetings as opportunities to validate the suggestions and recommendations you’ve brought with you instead of a chance to ask “what do I do now?” Your employer – and potential references – will notice which performers distinguish themselves in this regard.
And while it’s not advice, necessarily, I offer you something that all organizations are offering you right now, whether you know it or not: encouragement. This is a wonderful time in your life to explore and try new things and for those interns joining us, we look forward to a terrific, productive summer with you and watching each of you succeed at mastering new skills and understanding the value of “real world experience.” We want your experience with us to be something you carry with you throughout your career!