Things That Matter

Here Are 21 Tips To Make Sure You Make The Most Out Of Your Internship Whether Or Not It’s Paid

If you’ve landed your first internship, you are probably feeling a mix of emotions. If you’re lucky, this will be the first paying job in your industry that you’ve landed. If not, you may be working an unpaid internship, which can still pay off in connections and experience. Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your internship.

1. Do Your Homework

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Chances are, you’ve probably already done some homework on your company just to land your internship.  However, before your first day, take a deep dive. Read news articles about your company. If you know who they are, add and check out your new boss on LinkedIn. Have the most information you can about the company’s business and culture.

2. Dress the Part

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The old adage says to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Don’t be shy about asking your contact (probably someone in HR) what the dress code of the office is, and follow it. Remember – just because everyone else can break the rules and wear jeans on a Tuesday doesn’t mean you should. Don’t overdo it either – the goal of choosing your outfits should generally be to blend in.

3. Make a Good First Impression

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When you first meet your new coworkers, be friendly and approachable. Shake hands. Use your manners that your mom no doubt taught you.

4. Show Up on Time

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This goes without saying, but as an intern, you should always be on time. If you have to be late, fess up honestly and professionally. Send your boss a polite, professional email with your estimated time of arrival. Don’t even think about saying that your grandma died, the cab crashed, or the bus was late. Apologize and be there as soon as possible.

5. Treat it Like a Real Job

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Even if you aren’t getting paid, you need to treat your internship like it’s your first real job. First of all, it is. Second of all, if you show great work ethic, creativity, skills, and the ability to work efficiently in a team, it may become your first real job. At a minimum, you’ll rack up lots of people who will be happy to give you a reference.

6. Clarify Your Responsibilities

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Meet with your boss early and often to discuss exactly what your job responsibilities are. You want to be productive and as helpful as possible, and clarifying your role and responsibilities will help you make sure you aren’t spending your days bored out of your mind, or over your head.

7. Listen, Listen Listen

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Take a cue from Lin Manuel Miranda and talk less, smile more. While you shouldn’t be afraid to speak up at the right time, internships are all about learning. Listen to your coworkers, and learn as much as you can.

8. Ask Good Questions

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Listening well pays off. If you are listening, you will be better able to ask thoughtful questions. Asking questions is a great time to get clarification, but also show that you have been listening and learning.

9. Follow Office Etiquette

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Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the way an office runs. Not sure who gets the front parking spots? Ask. Not sure if the donuts in the break room are fair game. Don’t be afraid to ask – you may save yourself some cringe-worthy embarrassing moments.

10. Be Easy To Work With

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Everyone gets it – work can suck sometimes, especially if you are at the bottom of the totem pole. However, if you are negative all the time, no one will want to work with you and your internship will likely be a dud. Try to be positive and helpful, and leave the personal drama at home.

11. Don’t be Afraid to Do a Little Dirty Work

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While hopefully, your internship doesn’t read like a script from “Horrible Bosses,” don’t be above fetching coffee or other things that may be outside of what you think you should be doing. However, if your bosses’ behavior crosses into harassment or abuse, speak to HR.

12. Proofread Your Work

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Nothing will make you want to stab yourself in the eye or bang your head against a desk than sending a poorly worded email to, say, the entire office. Be careful about hitting that “reply all” button, and read everything over once before you hit send. Don’t put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want the entire company (or the company’s clients) to read.

13. Ask for Feedback

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Schedule regular check-ins with your boss. Ask to adjust your responsibilities if you want to take on more work. Accept any criticism with grace, and work on a plan to improve.

14. Find a Mentor

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This can take time, but find someone who you can click with to be your mentor. Mentors are invaluable in their ability to steer you in the right direction and the beginning of your career and many will stay with you after your internship is over.

15. Ask for More Work

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If you aren’t busy enough, check in with your boss and ask for more work. Don’t be a huge pest to your coworkers, however. Check-in, but don’t be a nuisance. If your department doesn’t have anything for you at the moment, ask if you can shadow someone in another department. Knowing how all aspects of a company works is valuable.

16. Read Industry Publications

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Read trade magazines, blogs, and other publications. This will help you feel less clueless if you are included in meetings or asked to work on projects. Knowing industry-standard terms of art can help you get by, but don’t be afraid to ask what someone is or means if you don’t understand.

17. Attend Training Sessions

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Many companies offer free lectures, seminars, or lunchtime training sessions. Take advantage of every one of these you can. Not only will it help you get to know your current company, but it will also give you experience and knowledge you can add to your résumé.

18. Be Social

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It goes without saying that networking is one of the most critical parts of an internship. Getting to know people and making positive impressions leads to references and jobs. Make sure to attend office social events like happy hours, parties, and retreats if at all possible. Keep it professional though.

19. Stay Off Social Media

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Like it or not, there is a stereotype for millennials that they are glued to their phones. Defy the stereotype. Check your phone on breaks, but don’t be glued to your phone, even if your coworkers are. Stay focused and attentive to your job.

20.  Ask for References

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Before you leave your internship, capitalize on all your hard work by asking your boss and coworkers if you can use them as a reference, and what contact information is best. Consider asking one or two people for a letter of reference to add to your files.

21. Reflect on Your Experience

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This is an incredibly important part of your internship. If you found that you hated every moment of your internship, consider exploring a different type of job in the same field. Consider what things you did like, and didn’t and seek out opportunities that best fit your skills and passion.


READ: Listen Up College Kids, These Are The Things You Shouldn’t Ever Do

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Reddit Users Are Sharing Advice On How To Get Over Your Fear Of Being Hurt By A New Partner

Things That Matter

Reddit Users Are Sharing Advice On How To Get Over Your Fear Of Being Hurt By A New Partner

Heartache often proves to be a heck of a mountain to get over.

Isolating, physically and emotionally draining, and ultimately desperate, the feeling of having your heart split into can be a traumatizing one that can bleed into future relationships. No matter how healthy or new, the relationships we get into after heartbreaks can be difficult to navigate, and often times feel like a minefield of potential problems.

Users on Reddit know this truth and are doing their best to help us all get over our dating fears.

Check out some helpful insights below!

“By healthily distancing myself and having more to focus on in my life than a current relationship. I find that I have more trouble with these feelings when I’m lacking outside hobbies and friends. It’s easy to constantly worry about a new relationship when it’s the center of your world, and giving yourself space outside the relationship can also really help if you’re prone to being codependent on partners/spouses.”- SwirlyButterfly

“After certain number of heartbreaks, you start to realize you’ve always survived and you’ll survive if it happens again. Having a full life apart from the relationship is a big part of that.”- 1VulgarWoman

“When I started going on out the weekends with friends, it helped soooo much. I noticed when I was getting depressed I wasn’t going out at all. Giving myself the space allowed the relationship to flow perfectly.”- itristain

“By going slow. When my now fiance asked me out I was five months removed from being raped by two guys at a house party and was still really shaken up about it. I didn’t trust men, I didn’t crave sex or intimacy, I was anxious and hurt. But against my gut I agreed to go on the date and was delighted to find he was sweet and respected my wishes. After we’d been seeing each other for about three months I told him that I’d been assaulted and he was always there for emotional support. We’re getting married in August, our sex life is great and I’m infatuated with him. It just took time.”- Mineralista406

“I know that moving forward after a bad relationship I will never ignore red flags and chose partners with morals and goals similar to mine. Do not ignore red flags because you’re lonely. It’s not worth it.”- Melyjane312

“It’s hard because it took me a long time and a lot of conversations to feel secure and that i was finally with someone who wasn’t going to hurt me. And he said all of those right things with no doubts, no red flags etc. However sure enough one day- heart broken. So I don’t know how i will ever do it again.”- icecream112233

“Depends if you are with them, or want one right away.

For me, distance, u dont need someone else to be complete, put those standards high. If you want a loving gentle yet strong and dependable partner, manifest him.”- Koroklass

“I think it might be helpful to adopt a mindset where you realize people aren’t really going to change for you (unless you have a really special bond or something and you’re in a really deeply committed relationship where your partner is willing to compromise etc.) and that whatever they do is a reflection of who they are as a person and not who you are. Yeah you can communicate and if they choose to listen then great, If not well there’s almost always a choice on whether to stay or not. Sometimes it’s not that people want to hurt you it’s just that they simply don’t know better or they have some character “flaw” that speaks more about them. Or that due to timing or the nature of things it can’t work right now, or some people aren’t built for relationships, and that relationships can be vastly different with different people. No one is perfect and we can only do our best. And like what other people are saying, shift that focus onto yourself and work on being a good person living a happy and healthy life doing things that you love will help!”- imightforgetthis11

“Aww man… it took over a year. I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year and some months. I used to have bad anxiety. I never been in a healthy relationship. This feeling was sooo new to me. I felt so uneasy and still wouldn’t and couldn’t trust him. I prayed ALOT. And It was proven that I could trust him and just relax but I still couldn’t. I tried 3 therapist that didn’t help. I just wasted money. What helped me was reading books and going out with my friends. I am currently reading 4 books and reading them has helped my issues. It’s therapy for me. I read books about relationships and men and women. I learned more about myself. I got a relationship/life coach by researching the book and found that there are people who will coach you. She told me I get anxiety because I’m going against my feminine ways. I was trying to control my bf for no reason, nag him and etc. I stopped doing that and became relaxed. I focused on becoming a better person. I read books on being feminine in a relationship and I tried it. I started being more happy and just letting go. I stopped worrying and it feels great. I don’t think he will hurt me. I don’t have those thoughts anymore. I don’t think he’ll cheat either. He adores me so much and I get reminded of that every single day. I just sat back and did nothing and focused on ME. You have to fix yourself before you get into a relationship or else marriage will unravel it all and it could go bad. When I prayed I already had confirmation. I downloaded scripture apps and got more into prayer. If you’re religious then trusting God will help you trust yourself

I also learned that thinking negative has ALOT to do with it. I learned to only think positive and I’m normally happy the whole entire day. I just changed my life around. My coach also said when I change, my partner changes. He was always loving to me, but now he seems to have falling deeper.”- itristain

“Books have also been a huge help in my healing journey and figuring out how not only my partners, but I was hurting and sabotaging my relationships.”-Sea-Delay

“I am and always have been laid back, loving and trusting in my relationships. But they have always ended in the the guy treating me bad eventually (I have broken up with them pretty quick after such treatment). But now I always have a feeling they will betray me no matter how loving our relationship is, like they are always just pretending to be loving and will eventually be horrible to me and it makes me feel really sad.”- callmedeniro

“Time and taking things slowly in the beginning. Took me a while to get there but I worked through those feelings and got there eventually.”- kinkyspidersex

“My fiance came home from work and instead of helping my friend move that was standing right outside, he told me he actually didn’t love and dint want to be in this life with me anymore. So that was rough. I dont think… I have gotten over that fear? I still think about how my current, long term partner of almost 3 years might do that. And there’s not much I can do about it? It wasn’t my fault the first time, shit just happens, he might fall out of love with me this time too. I just remember those fears are mine,and not rational, and thats not fair to put on my current partner to make me feel better about.”- seeemilydostuf

“It all came down to the right man. He could have other women but he wants me. He doesn’t have to be with someone to be happy but he chooses to be with me. He never tells me something he doesn’t think is true. In light of all that I just can’t really imagine him hurting me or lying to me about how he feels… he’s just had so many opportunities to do something else and he hasn’t.”- phasestep

“Day by day, by being vulnerable with my new partner and most of the time he doesn’t let me down.”- StrongEye1738

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This Latino In His Sixties Spent Half Of His Life Behind Bars, Now He’s Graduating College With Honors

Things That Matter

This Latino In His Sixties Spent Half Of His Life Behind Bars, Now He’s Graduating College With Honors

Photo via Facebook/Miguel de la Rosa

Once in a while, a story comes along that makes you realize that the phrase “you can do anything you put your mind to”, isn’t just an old cliche. One California Latino man proved that the phrase has some truth behind it.

62-year-old Joseph Valadez just graduated with honors from Cal State Long Beach after spending the half of his adult life behind bars.

Valadez’s story went viral when one of his fellow students tweeted about the California Latino man’s incredible story. “This man accomplished something incredible AND took the coldest pic of 2021,” said that caption.

The post is a screenshot of a Facebook post Valadez wrote, accompanied by some stunning graduation photos of the 62-year-old.

“I finished my last two semester at Long Beach on the ‘President’s Honor List’ for making straight As,” wrote Valadez on the CSULB alumni Facebook group. “Was also on the Dean’s List with a GPA of 3.67. Not bad for someone who spent half his adult life in prison.”

“There’s a misconception about guys like me that I want to break,” he added. “If I can do it, anyone can.”

Since the picture went viral, Valadez opened up about the journey that took him from rock bottom to where he is now.

Like many people in the prison system, addiction fueled Valadez’s life of crime. In an interview with Long Beach Post, he revealed that he began using heroine when he first joined the army at the age of 18.

“All the crimes I did were related to trying to get drugs, selling drugs,” the California Latino man told the Long Beach Post. He would spend 38 years of his life battling addiction.

After that, his life spiraled into a cycle of addiction, homelessness, violence, and crime. In total, Valadez has been to prison 40 times. He has spent more than 30 years behind bars.

Valadez finally decided to change his life in his 50s, when he realized that if he kept living this way, he would die soon.

In 2013, Valadez checked into an adult rehab facility. He stayed there for a year while he got clean. Soon after, he enrolled in Orange Coast Community College before ultimately transferring to Cal State Long Beach. In total, it took six years of challenging coursework for him to graduate. But from the look of pride in Valadez’s face, it was worth it.

Throughout his journey in the educational system, however, Valadez has discovered all the ways that the system failed him. Despite getting good grades in high school, teachers didn’t suggest college as an option for him. Instead, they suggested he pursue landscaping or construction. Similarly, when Valadez bounced in and out of jail due to his addiction, no one ever suggested rehab as a way for him to break the cycle.

Now, Valadez wants to take the lessons he learned and give back to his community.

At CSULB, Valadez excelled in sociology, and was interested in exploring how the criminal justice system is set up to target people of color. “I know a little bit about that subject because I lived it,” he said. “I wanted to understand the ‘why?’.” As of now, he is waiting to see if he gets accepted into CSULB’s Social Work masters program.

Valadez wants to use his new degree to help young kids who are at-risk of being failed by the system, like he was. “I’m going to inspire somebody, I’m going to motivate somebody, I’m going to give somebody hope,” he said. “That’s what I’m supposed to do.”

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