Author: Tonya Nelson

How to Wow Recruiters with Your Resume and Cover Letters

Share Button

For most of us, there’s nothing more challenging than sitting down and writing a cover letter. Writing about yourself is one thing. Writing about yourself in a way that shows you can do a job and gets you noticed out of 100 applicants is another. Resume and cover letter writing is just step one on job hunts, and can often be the hardest step. But thanks to career services and many other professional tips, it’s time all of us heading into the job market or applying to internships know how it’s done.
The best way to set up a resume is to make a list of everything you’ve done in college—once you’re a sophomore or older, you typically want to forget high school ever happened in your applications (unless you went to a highly prestigious boarding school or something of the like). Think about internships, clubs, courses and class projects relevant to the job. Once you have it all laid out before, pick and choose from the list to tailor your experiences to a job description. Yup, that’s right. You don’t necessarily want just one kind of resume for every job you apply for—though you can often repeat when applying to all jobs in the same field. The best way to get hired is to cater your resume and cover letter to the job description given and the skills required. That way, one glance at your piece of paper—because your resume should always be one single piece of paper—will immediately show an employer you could do this job.
When writing your resume, format is important. Use bold headings for different sections, like education, leadership experience, etc. You can group your internship and class work experiences under different headings related to the job, so they can see a wider range of what you’ve been up to—especially since by the end of senior year, most of us can’t fit all of our experiences on one page and have to choose what to include. For each experience, make sure you include the name of the company, where you worked, your job title, and the dates of your internship or class. Keep the format the same throughout the whole resume to make it look more professional and flow better. Under each title of your experience, include at least three bullet points as to what you did. Be honest, beginning each bullet with an action verb, and again try to make your experience as closely related to the job description as possible without making up details. Voila! You have a resume that will stand out to the company and hopefully help land you the job.
In addition to working hard on your resume, you need to put the time in to writing different cover letters for each job. Companies can tell if you’re using the same letter repeatedly and just inserting a different company name. Here’s the trick to these: the company wants to know if you can do the job, if you want the job (aka have passion for it), and if you’ll fit into the work environment. So, you should take this opportunity—again, the cover letter should be just about a page if not less—to try to reference all of these points as best you can.
You should begin your letter by addressing the employer by name if possible, and launch into a short paragraph about how you’re interested in such a position and why. The why aspect is important because it can help show your passion and what it is about this particular company that makes you want to work there. Then enter a new paragraph that is about 10 sentences at most, highlighting three to five experiences on your resume that make you a good candidate. DON’T just re-iterate what your resume already tells them about your study abroad experience, but go into detail about what you learned exactly…which should be related to the job description and what experience they want you to have! Be concise and clear, and stick to the most important details of what you did. Conclude your letter by thanking them for their consideration and giving them details on how to reach you. Include references with their information, and with one final thank you and “hope to hear from you soon,” you’ve just finished one of the most difficult letters to write ever. Phew!

If You Haven’t Been Watching These Summer Shows…What’ve You Been Doing?

Share Button

Summer is notoriously bad for reruns, movies with too many commercials, or simply nothing to watch. You just want to plop in front of the TV for once, but only last 5 minutes flipping through the channels before declaring there’s nothing good on. Well, some shows are around just for the summer season, and while they may not be everybody’s cup of tea, they’re certainly entertaining.

1.     MTV’s Awkward. 

If you went to high school—which, hello, you all did—you’ll enjoy this show. It follows Jenna Hamilton living one awkward moment after the next. And ok, we don’t all have such weird moments as she does, nor do we have to deal with deliciously rude Sadie Saxton, but hey, this is TV! Life can be exaggerated! Jenna and Tamara deal with hook ups, break ups, weird parents and an anonymous letter that leads Jenna outside her comfort zone and into some more—you guessed it—awkward situations. If you’re looking for a laugh, or just want to kill half an hour, catch this gem on Thursdays at 10:30 pm (it’s on its second season right now, and we see it lasting for plenty of summers to come!).

 2.     MTV’s Teen Wolf 

Auuuu! Forget about Twilight, which never seems to be on TV anyway. Tune into this addicting show that one of its stars, Colton Haynes, deemed “the little MTV show that could.” Though its second season just reached its finale last Monday, all the episodes can be found on MTV.com—so there’s no time like the present to catch up before next year’s extended third season! The show focuses on newly made werewolf Scott, going through all kinds of crazy supernatural activities with his best friend, and the true heart of the show, Stiles. If that doesn’t convince you, all of the male actors and super attractive…and often shirtless. You’re welcome.

 3.     Pretty Little Liars 

This show is all about the confusing drama! You’ve got boyfriend problems, a dead best friend, more people dying, and some freaky A Team that only seems to get worse and never leaves the best friends alone! The mystery alone will suck you in and keep you guessing season, after season, after season. On a further plus note, this show also has a winter season so you’re not stuck without anything to do during winter break either—or having to wait a whole year to find out what happen’s next.

4.     The Newsroom 

Another HBO masterpiece, written by Aaron Sorkin—so you know it has to be good. The show focuses on a 24-hour news network starring Jeff Daniels, Olivia Munn and other well known celebs. After anchor Will McAvoy faces his executive producer leaving  for a new program along with most of the staff, him and the rest of his new and remaining team face a variety of obstacles to keep their news show going. It’s already been renewed for a second season, so get watching!

 5.     Breaking Bad 

 If you haven’t watched any of the previous four seasons…well, there’s no time like the present to catch up and tune in for its fifth and final go! Follow Walter White, the typical chemistry teacher…who has now become a meth cook. The AMC drama isn’t as simple as a drug-focused show, though! This new-found life of crime is meant to secure good, financial well being for the ailing teacher’s family. But of course, no good deed goes unpunished and Mr. White with his accomplice, Jesse Pinkman, face a lot of problems along the way. 

So, what are you waiting for? Stop being bored and entertain yourself with one of these series!

Summer DIY Fashion and Accessories

Share Button

As you save up your money this summer, you’re tempted to blow it all on clothes and new hair ideas, though you know you want to buy a new fall wardrobe. Decisions, decisions…Instead of buying a ton of new tanks and shorts, dig through your closet and find what you don’t wear anymore and make it into something new. It’s a win-win really.

One way to create a new summer look for yourself involves the smallest, simplest article of clothing: the sock. Get your hair off your neck with an elegant and simple bun high on your head—the sock bun. You just need a hair elastic, a sock and a pair of scissors. Take your sock (you might want to use one in a neutral color if possible) and cut off the toe so you have one long tube. Turn the sock into a donut shape and secure it. Put your hair up in a ponytail, wherever you want your bun to be. Then, simply pull your hair through the sock, spreading your hair around it. As you roll the sock down your hair towards your head, continue to position your hair around the sock so it’s fully covered. Voila, you now have a stylin’ sock bun!

Has your wardrobe been lacking color for the summer? Take simply boring pencil skirt and turn it into a fun, and still elegant, skirt with a brilliant border. Go out to a near by fabric store and find about 2 meters of embroidered trim—this can be Aztec design, animal print, whatever suites your fashion desires! If you need to make your skirt shorter, use another skirt as your guide and cut carefully; if you do this step, make sure to hem your skirt again to avoid fraying. Follow the waistband and hem of the skirt with your trim, carefully cutting your pieces to match the appropriate lengths. Sew the trim along the edges, making sure to keep your fabric straight (you may want a sewing machine for this step!). And now you took your not-so-fun skirt up a notch into a totally cute summer look.

The summer season is all about the shorts, and this summer they’re more colorful and full of pattern than ever before. Turn your boring jeans into a pair of super cute cut off tie dye shorts! Simply take whatever pair of pants or shorts you’re working with and cut them to the desired length (make sure you’re even all the way around so your butt’s fully covered). Pick out whatever color dyes you want for the shorts—yellow, pink and blue always look fab together—and dampen your shorts. Apply the dye horizontally so you have rainbow bands, and let dry when complete. Throw your shorts in for a quick wash, and ta da! You now have unique and trendy tie-dye cut offs.

Crop tops are also big this summer. While you can transform just about any t-shirt or tank you want into a tummy bearing top, for a more chic take on this style, use a classic button down shirt. If the shirt has sleeves, cut them off symmetrically—you can make thin or wider shoulders depending on what style you want. Decide where you want the shirt to end, drawing a line and carefully cutting the shirt across. Grab your sewing machine and hem the bottom and shoulders until you’re satisfied, and voila! Dad’s old shirt is now a comfortable fashion must-have.

There are plenty of ways to update your wardrobe this summer without having to buy all new outfits. Take a peak in your closet and find your old, worn out shirts and jeans being ignored at the back, grab a pair of scissors and some needles and you’re on your way to the most fashionable summer of your life!

Water Exercises: Work Out While Beating the Heat

Share Button

In the summer, finding the motivation to exercise can be impossible—especially when it’s 90 degrees out. Instead of hopping on the treadmill in a poorly air conditioned gym or sweating it out on the streets as a heat mirage dances before your eyes, get yourself out to the beach or a pool for some fun in the sun—and exercise too!

First of all, you should all realize what an intense cardio workout swimming can be! If you do some serious laps in the pool or propel yourself against the current of the ocean for a bit, you’re targeting your arms, legs and abs all in one powerful exercise. According to trainers, if you tread water in your pool or at the beach with all of your might, you can burn 11 calories each minute—so a whole afternoon in the water will lead to some serious weight loss potential.

Walking around the town won’t seem as fun once you spend time walking in the water. It might not seem like walking could be as effective as going for a run, but with the water resisting your motions, you’ll be working out like crazy! Walk in the shallow water with long, exaggerated strides. You can also walk on your tip toes in the deep end (if you’re not a good swimmer or don’t like deep water, don’t try this since you’ll most likely fall at some point) for a more concentrated effect on your calves. Add some arm motions under the water for added effect and more calorie burning action.

Simply floating—or floating with a twist—can help improve your abs and core muscles. While you’re lying on your back in the water, make a conscience effort to tighten your abs as you float. You can tighten and relax, tighten and relax, for short spurts of exercise that don’t distract you too much from the task at hand: not sinking. You can make this exercise even more intense on your abs by rolling your body in the water with very controlled motions. As you tighten your abs and hold onto a ball for support, roll over so your stomach is in the water (make sure you hold your breath or hold your head up to avoid sucking in water), and then flip back up.

For those of you who prefer the shallow end of the pool, you can sit back in the water to begin treading, remaining in an outstretched seated position with a bend at the waist—turning your body into a V. Move your hands in circles by your waist to hold yourself up and make your way through the pool. Oppositely, you can also go onto your stomach and try propelling yourself with just your legs, a fun challenge for yourself that will make those quads burn!

There are countless exercises you can easily do in the pool or at the beach, working up a sweat without feeling the effects—unless you’re in extremely warm water. So now you have no excuses to not spend at least part of your summer getting toned, while getting tan and splashing around with your friends. Happy swimming!

Getting into the Mindset for Summer Classes

Share Button

You’ve decided to get ahead in school or retake a class to get a better grade. When you were first signing up to take your summer classes, your parents were proud and you thought it’d be no big deal. But now your night of hanging out late with friends is making an early morning wake up for class difficult. Even a class in the afternoon is torturous, as the sun shines beautifully in a gorgeous blue sky just outside the classroom window. Seriously, how can they expect you to pay attention and do well?

Set yourself up for success by getting yourself into a particular schedule. With an online class especially, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to take  the time to prepare for your class and actually get your work done. Between internships and a social life, it’s easy for summer classes to become ignored—who wants to study during the summer anyway? Depending on the kind of class you have, specifically schedule time to do your homework and study. Even if you’re in a classroom a certain number of hours every week, make sure to set up some extra time outside of class to attend to your school obligations. There’s no point in taking a summer class period if you’re not going to even try to pass it.

Do your best to ignore the weather and your phone while doing your work or sitting in class. Close your curtains or move to your basement to avoid being distracted by the sun or tempted to take a break that stretches on for the entire afternoon. By turning off your phone for a while, you’ll avoid the temptation to hang out with your friends when you really just need an hour to write your response paper.  It might sound lame and anti-social, but hanging out will be much more enjoyable without your parents grounding you for the rest of the summer to get your work done or knowing you have no time limitations on your outing.

You can also try setting up a mini reward system for yourself for getting work done. After completing one homework assignment, give yourself a snack break or a quick swimming break. Power through an entire essay and allow yourself a day at the movies or a shopping trip. By giving yourself different motivational factors, you’ll be more likely to get your work done quickly. But don’t try to rush through what you have to do either to get to your fun time either. Putting no effort into your work is only one step up from not doing it at all.

Just treat your school work during the summer as you would during the year (which hopefully means putting some effort in, at least). It might mean having some less fun than the rest of your friends, but in the end it will be worth it. You’ll get your credits, you won’t have wasted your parents’ money by failing a class and you’ll have at least one worthwhile accomplishment of the summer. There’s plenty of time or fun, you can give up a little of it for your work.

Good luck!

 

 

Little Ways to Stay Productive In the Summer

Share Button

In the summertime, it’s easy to slip into the ways of wanting to laze about, getting nothing done (aka just sleeping), having no plans and watching the days slip away. Though these lazy moments can be fun, if they consume your summer you’ll end up getting absolutely nothing done! Instead of going into full on lazy mode on your day off, pick little activities throughout the day to help keep you active and at least semi-productive during your summer. Time really does fly, so you’ll want to make the most of this down time.

An easy way to be more productive during the day is to set up a sleep schedule. Every day you have free shouldn’t be wasted by staying up all night beforehand and sleeping in all day—especially in summer when the weather’s actually nice! By waking up at least before noon every day, you’ll find you actually have a lot of time to do whatever it is you need to get done. Simply having more time to do things, even if you don’t have anything in particular to do, will help lead to you getting more things done to avoid boredom. Besides, with the sun streaming in your window, who can really sleep that well during the day time anyway?

Post-its or other reminders to yourself posted throughout your room or home can help keep you productive too. Whenever you think of something you need or want to get done, just write it down on a little note card before you forget and post it where you’ll definitely see it. A simple reminder can keep you motivated to actually go get it done and over with. If post-its are too not green for you, write out a quick to-do list to keep you on target. It may sound lame, but think of it as a grocery list for your day. You’ll remember everything you need and want without wasting time with nonsense.

Making plans with friends will also help get you rolling out of bed into productivity. Knowing you need to be out of the house at a certain time to meet them or having someone else waking up at the same time as you is a great motivator to get a move on—especially if you’re planning on meeting up with a friend who absolutely hates people being late. Together, you and your friends can accomplish little things: buying some snacks for your desk at work, picking up some more business wear, or just getting out there without any real plan and just having fun. After coming home from an adventure with a friend, you’ll be ready to get more done—or maybe just ready for a nap.

Being productive this summer doesn’t mean never sitting at home with nothing to do or feeling guilty for spending a day lounging at the beach. Doing something every day, big or small, will simply make your summer seem more worthwhile and full. If all you ever do is nap and watch TV, you’ll return to school in the fall without any good stories to share with your friends, jealousy beyond belief at how much they accomplished during the break, or at least regret that you didn’t do more when you had the chance. Take advantage of your free time by doing as much as you can, as often as you can with whoever you can. Lazy days are always better appreciated after the hectic ones.

When in Italy…go to the Amalfi Coast!

Share Button

One of the best parts of studying abroad is having the opportunity to travel—even more than you ever anticipated. Different countries, different cities, there are no limits to where you can go if you can find the time. In Florence, there are several agencies to help plan weekend and day trips wherever you can imagine—in and outside the country. After one week in Florence and learning our way around our smaller city, seven of us (among like 100 total) took a three day trip to Amalfi Coast through Florence for Fun. If you’re in Italy and can only take one trip, this is the one I’d recommend.

 After an eight hour bus trip from Florence (this part isn’t so fun, but sleep will make it go faster) and a short night in a hotel, we traveled to Capri via another short bus ride and a 45 minute long ferry. Once off one boat, we quickly got on another for an hour and a half long tour around the island. But at the beginning of our tour, we had the opportunity to enter the Blue Grotto. The grotto is famous for its crystal clear blue waters, made even more special with the boat guides singing opera that echoed off the small cave walls around us. If you’re claustrophobic and considering this trip, I’d carefully consider this part: to get into the grotto, you need to lie on your back or risk losing your head—seriously (well, sort of…it probably wouldn’t come off, but it wouldn’t be a fun injury!). Besides the Blue Grotto, tons of other grottos are around the island with many homes of the famous, like Armani, tucked into the hills. If you’re interested in shopping, walk around the designer stores, like Missoni and Chanel, for the season’s latest. And don’t forget a fantastic seafood lunch at Isidora’s—their spaghetti with clams is to die for.

The following day was all about the beach and Italian shoes! We drove down to Positano, about 45 minutes from our hotel in Sorrento. After trekking down thousands of stairs and all complaining about shaky legs, we immediately headed into La Botteguccia, famous for its beautiful handmade leather shoes. You can customize your shoes however you’d like, with a wide variety of colors and styles—it took forever for all of us to decide! The shoes are higher in price, starting at 45 euro for the most basic design, but it’s completely worth it: the shoes are fitted perfectly to your feet for ultimate comfort—a necessary when walking all over Florence. After an exhausting morning of shoe shopping, we headed to the free beach with black sand that turned into rocks—without our new sandals made yet, our feet got hot, hot, hot! But the Mediterranean has crystal blue water, tons of sea glass to collect, and a mild temperature perfectly suited to counteract the scorching sun.

To round out our long weekend, the group headed to Pompeii first for an intense history lesson. Reading about what happened at Pompeii is bizarre enough. Going there and trying to believe your eyes is even more difficult to grasp. So much, from the original marble floors, a mosaic in the entrance to a now mostly destroyed palace, pottery and even bodies have been completely preserved in almost perfect form. All the ruins were beautiful—even the brothels with strange frescoes of different sexual acts and the stone genitalia to signal these places of the night.

Topping off the amazing weekend, we traveled for another 45 minutes to Mount Vesuvius, or Mount Vesuvio as they call it here. The hike is only about 20 minutes all the way to the top, but what they don’t tell you is you need to make it up pretty steep, soft gravel—no matter what shoes you’re wearing, you’re going to slide a bit on the way up, and definitely on the way down! The views are so worth the effort though. Make sure you have plenty of water and take a bathroom trip before hand (they only have port-a-potties), to stay comfortable during your hike. And definitely don’t grab any of the rocks on your journey, unless you’re ready for some majorly bad juju.

All in all, the Amalfi Coast is a must-see when in Italy. You can’t go wrong with beach time and handmade shoes, that’s for sure!

Study Abroad: Communicating with a Host Family

Share Button

In most study abroad programs, living with a host family is a huge part of the overall experience. Not only can they help you learn about your culture, but they feed you, help you get around and can help you find the city’s hidden gems. But with a language barrier, or for someone who’s shy, it can be difficult to adjust to living with a stranger (or multiple strangers), especially in a completely different country. In the days I’ve been spending with my host mother and roommate, and hearing about others’ experiences with theirs so far, I’ve discovered a lot of great ways to communicate and open up—even if you’re not on the same linguistic page.

Luckily for me, my host mother knows English pretty well and also helps me learn Italian by speaking to me in sentences including both. For others, the transition hasn’t been quite so simple. If neither of you can speak each other’s language, there are still ways to communicate. Keep a pocket dictionary or phrase book with you. It might be annoying to look up everything you want to say, but it’s even more annoying to not be able to say anything at all. By the end of the summer or semester, you should have at least some words down pat, and conversation will be a breeze.

While you’re learning to speak in a new language, you can also learn to gesture a lot while you speak (if you don’t already). Pointing, nodding, smiling, etc. can all go a really long way in the absence of words. Sometimes you and your host family might not always understand the whole intended message, but again, some effort is better than none at all. It can even be helpful to write a few words down from a dictionary, so even if you don’t know how to pronounce them yet (something your host can help with), you can at least hold up the words for them to read. You can also attempt to help your family with English as well, by saying the words they are acting out. A few words and lots of gesturing can make for a great conversation!

In addition to language, some people find it difficult to fit into their families or talk freely with them. You don’t have to share your whole life story, just little details. If they have a dog and you have a dog, make a comment and maybe add a story about your dog they’d understand or appreciate. Compliment their cooking or ask them about a trinket you noticed on the TV stand. You can easily keep your personal life private while still getting to know your family and get along with one another. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or just talk about how classes are going. As time goes on, you’ll all feel more comfortable around each other and get alone just like a real family (hopefully anyway).

Just relax and remember to give yourself time to adjust. It’s a new situation, a new environment and all new people, so it’s ok to feel out of your element—that’s part of the fun of studying abroad! Put yourself out there, try to make yourself feel at home and never be afraid to speak up. Even if you have a negative comment to make, like if they make something you can’t eat for whatever reason, mention it to them. Your host family is like your adopted family for the time you’re in this new country, so take advantage of what these relationships have to offer. Above all else, traveling the world, whether for school or independently for fun, is an amazing learning and growing experience. So, push yourself out of your comfort zone, try new things and reach out to your family in whatever way you can to help you through the adjustment. You’ll be glad you did.

– ToonyToon

Study Abroad: Finding Your Way

Share Button

We’ve been situated with our host families for about 5 days now, and the directions are becoming a little easier. So, for those you of you planning to go abroad in the future, here are some tips to start getting familiar with your surroundings.

First of all, be prepared with maps. The more you have, the better. Every map is different, and some will tell you stores or restaurants, or better views of streets. Sure, you risk looking like a tourist, but if you’re in classes there is no time to get lost—especially if you don’t know the language. Florence isn’t a huge city, but if you’re elsewhere it might not be so easy to find your way around. Plus, it’s not like you need to unfold an entire map and stop dead in the middle of the street. Fold your map to the section you need, so you’re more discrete and it’ll help you get your bearings quicker. Then you can simply tuck it into your pocket or bag, and take it out when necessary. If you pay to have an iPhone or smart phone that works abroad, you have it even easier: Google Maps! But still, make sure you pay attention to where you are so you don’t have to rely on help your whole stay.

Another way to help learn your way around is traveling in groups. Of course, at night especially, it’s safer overall to travel with at least one other person. But even during the day, working with someone else to get to your destination will prove extremely beneficial. Together, you can figure out different routes and determine where you are going faster. Like they say, two heads are better than one. Also, this is a great way to go on an adventure and get off the beaten path a bit. Instead of using your map, just venture around and see what you find (trying to pay at least some attention to where you are so you can visit these places again sometime). One of the best ways to explore a new place is to just go out without any real destination in mind—and a nice way to possibly avoid some of the overcrowded touristy areas.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you speak the language, ask people on the streets for directions—I’ve done this without speaking Italian, too, since pointing and nodding can go a long way. Talk to your host family if you’re staying with one, or the professors/school employees. They’re there to help you and they won’t be rude about giving you directions if you need them. Also, school friends may have already found cool routes to go on, so pairing up or asking around can be very helpful.

I have the worst sense of direction in the world, and I’m doing just fine so I’m sure you can figure it out too. Good luck, and happy adventures!

– ToonyToon

How to Make Nice With Fellow Interns

Share Button

You’re ready for an incredible summer. But you’re far from home and all of your friends as you intern somewhere new for the next few months. You know your boss likes you and the work will go well,  but you’re unsure about your fellow interns. Will you have anything in common? Will you have anything to talk about? What if they’re not nice? What if they just don’t like you? Though there’s lots of ways to get off on the wrong foot or create office enemies, more often than not interns manage to get along. There are lots of ways to at least be friendly with your colleagues and keep the tension down in the office—and you may just make a new best friend.

If you’re like Rachel Berry, you’re the top of the office. At school, you dominate your classes. At home, you’re the favorite child. At work, you breeze through your work and make your boss especially happy. You don’t care who stands in the way, you’ll rise to the top. But nobody likes a know-it-all-better-than-you type! If you fit into this personality type, you need to tone it down at work. Obviously, you’re allowed to succeed and work really hard to please your boss and potentially see a promotion in your future. Creating competition and tension in the office though by trying to one up your fellow interns—especially if you’re all working on the same project or within the same position—is no good. Not only with these other interns likely begin to resent you, but any future interns starting late will also hear about this annoying office superstar. Tone down your competitive edge a bit, help out your interns, and you’ll be just fine.

If you’re super shy, there are some easy ways to create a bond among those in your office. A simple smile can help bridge an awkward situation and bring about conversation. If you feel kind of socially awkward and don’t want or know how to make conversation, simply introduce yourself; the other person will then tell you a bit about themselves and perhaps further the conversation with some questions. Don’t be afraid to sit in silence either. Many people feel the need to blab into the quiet, but this isn’t always necessary. Unless you feel awkward, you can simply work away and perhaps start a new conversation during a lunch break or at an appropriate moment. Try to find some common ground or topics that are easy to talk about, like movies or even your internship itself. As time goes on, you’ll all feel more comfortable and talkative around each other, and conversations will flow.

Hanging out with fellow interns when you’re not in the same room or department as them can be difficult at first. If they don’t put in the effort to talk to you—or possibly don’t even know you exist in the office—you have to take the first step to put yourself out there more. Take a walk to the break room and don’t be afraid to say hello and introduce yourself to whoever’s in there. Listen for office meet-up opportunities after hours and join in. Even making a connection with the head of another department can help introduce you to your fellow interns and make friends. Plus, the more professional connections, the better for your future. By putting yourself out there, you’ll be doing a lot more than just building friendships.

Overall, remember interning isn’t meant to be a big social event. At the end of the day, your work comes first and worrying about office friendships shouldn’t be at the top of your list. You also shouldn’t be pushing your fellow interns to the side in your constant battle to be number 1, or claim responsibility for a group effort. Even if you are the only intern in your department, keep in mind there are other ways to meet people—around your neighborhood, during a night out, hanging out in public spaces. Besides, you’ll be with this company all summer, so don’t feel awkward if you’re not clicking right away. There’s plenty of time to bond with people in and outside of your work space. But even if you end the summer without any new besties for life, at least you’ll walk away with more experience to put on your resume. And there’s always your friends and family back home to turn to when you’re lonely!

Just be yourself, work hard and have fun. It is summer after all!

-ToonyToon