Guidelines for Being a Happy and Healthy Intern

Fri, Jun 1, 2012

Internship Information

This is the time of year when a lot of people are getting internships. On one hand, that means that this is the time of year when people will be working long hours for little to no money. That’s the downside. Oh, but when it comes to the pros of having an internship, they definitely outweigh the cons by far!

Internships are a way to gain work experience, network with people working in your field of interest and possibly meet the person who will be your formal employer after you graduate. So, for every day that you sacrifice going to the beach to go into an office building, just remember that you’re doing something to help your professional future.
If you need a bit more of a pep talk than that, here are some guidelines to being a happy and healthy intern.

Stay focused. Sometimes, we’re so busy doing things that we’ve lost sight of the reasons behind them. You took an intern over “a real job” because it made more sense to intern in your field than work full-time at a dead-end establishment. If you keep telling yourself that, it will make the days go by a lot faster (even the ones when you’re looking at your dwindling bank account).

Take care of yourself. Partying with your friends on a Wednesday night, getting in a 3am and going into work at 8:30am does not a happy intern make. In order to be in peak condition, you have to make sure to eat well (this includes breakfast and taking some nuts or fruit in a baggie to work), exercise (at least 30 minutes 2-3 times per week) and getting an adequate amount of sleep (you might be a young adult, but eight hours is still the recommended amount).

Make the most of your internship. A lot of people do not enjoy their internship because they only do what’s asked of them, literally. However, the people who really liked their internship made the most of their time by asking for extra work, speaking to other employees, researching the company and putting their energies into deciding if what they’re doing now is what they want for their lives later. If you decide to take all of these things seriously, time will go by a lot faster than you anticipated and you’ll find yourself even being more secure in your internship decision.

Take part in any job health fairs or screenings. In the effort to be more health conscious, more and more companies are offering job fairs and health screenings that are free of charge to their employees. If there’s one that happens to be going on while you’re completing your internship, ask human resources if you can take part in it. Whether it’s to check your blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, hearing and vision or if there are vouchers given for more extensive tests like liver disease testing, why not take advantage of the opportunities? Look at it from this perspective: It’s a cool way to get a semi-physical and it didn’t cost you (or your health insurance company) a dime.

Treat yourself. Like any work day, there will be some good ones and some bad ones. And if anyone should reward themselves for hanging in with both, it would have to be an intern. If you work hard during the week, make sure to make it a priority to play hard on the weekends. If you had a good Sunday, there’s a great possibility that you’ll have a big smile on your face on Monday.

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