A Gen Z Intern’s Survival Kit

Yaaay!! Congratulations on your new internship! It can be a very exciting, yet understandably nerve-wracking experience. Especially if you are in a new country and everything is new or different.

Well….. Guess What? I totally was! I am currently a Social Media Intern at Like A Voss Inc and started my internship 2 weeks back. I had so many thoughts about whether I was going to make stupid mistakes, what if I am not good enough? Will the people in my team like me?

Also as a POC who moved to Canada in May 2022, I was also quite nervous and wanted to make sure I fit right into Canada’s culture and workplace environment. Plus, as a Gen Z, there’s even more pressure on you. Thanks to social media; it can create a false narrative of comparison between people where you assume everyone is doing better than you and you are way behind everyone else.

Well, it’s now 2 weeks into my internship and I am having the best time!! Yes, I still make stupid-silly mistakes, yes, there are people who are much better than me, and yes, I still feel nervous sometimes when I am working on things because I want my boss to like my work.

But I don’t compare myself to anyone, nor do I put myself down. 

How did I change so much in just 2 weeks you may ask?

I just realized after working, interacting with my teammates, and my boss, and being a part of the team that this is all my learning process. This is why I am here – to learn and improve my skills. I may make mistakes but those mistakes are teaching me how to do my job much better. It just made me realize that we are all on our own paths and figuring out our lives in our own ways. Everyone’s life is different, and we should celebrate that diversity and not compare ourselves to one another.

While thinking about what I should write for this week’s blog, I realized that if I was nervous and had so many anticipations about myself then I am sure there are many people out there in Gen Z population who are also starting out their career, getting out of college and looking for the next big thing to chase. 

Well, in our own Gen Z language – What’s Next?

That’s when I thought why not pen down my own thoughts and experiences about my internship and how to not feel overwhelmed during this process.

I hope that my blog helps you feel a bit at ease. I am here to share a few tips and tricks that I followed which helped me a lot during my first days of internship and which I am still following and I hope that it also helps you – 

  1. Be organized – Make sure you have a plan for managing your time and tasks so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Keep a diary or calendar to track important deadlines and tasks. I have my planner which I cannot live without. I pen down all my thoughts, my ideas, and my tasks for the day. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment after you strike out your tasks.
  2. Take initiative – Show your boss that you’re eager to learn and contribute. Ask questions, volunteer for assignments, and offer to help out wherever you can. And don’t do this just to impress your boss. Actually, take initiative because it’s a learning process for you. The more you ask, the more you learn!
  3. Network – Get to know your colleagues and other professionals in your field. This could lead to future job opportunities or even lifelong friendships. I love getting to know what my team is doing and also love talking to my boss. Do not be afraid to talk. Nobody is going to judge you. And you never know… what if you and your teammate love the same sports club, or love the same cuisine that you guys can try out together. Don’t underestimate the power of Networking!
  4. Have an attitude of learning – Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and ask questions. This will help you develop your skills and learn more about your field. Trust me, I make silly mistakes at work and my boss corrects and guides me. It’s as simple as that. You are here to learn so why be afraid of being yourself?
  5. Be professional and respectful – Always act with integrity and respect others. This will help you build positive relationships and make a good impression. Please know what pronouns your teammates prefer to go by, say thank you when your boss helps you out, own up to your mistakes and be authentic.

It’s normal to feel nervous when starting any new job, especially an internship. It’s important to remember that everyone starts somewhere, and it’s a learning process as I stressed a lot of times.

Take it one step at a time, focus on the task at hand, take pride in the progress you make, and compliment yourself for all the little achievements because you deserve it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and be sure to voice your ideas and opinions.

Most importantly, try to enjoy the experience and have fun because in no time you will realize that – the best is yet to come.

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