There you are. Sat in the corner. Forgotten. Forlorn. Another colleague looks you in the eye for a couple of seconds. They look away. They like the look of their sandwich more than they like looking at you. You refresh your Gmail. Nothing has arrived. You go for a wee 128 times to pass the time. You die alone.
That’s the problem with being an intern; you become part of the intern system. You’re not essential. You’re not properly paid (if you are paid at all) and when you’re gone, you are likely to be replaced by somebody else. And of course it is hard for you to stand out, unless of course you’re shouting “WHY DOESN’T ANYONE OUT THERE RECOGNISE OR APPROVE MY EFFORT” or if you smell of wee, or something.
So how do get yourself noticed in the office, without being declared legally insane?
Suggest work for yourself
This might sound obvious, but if you feel your work is a bit samey and you are blending into the background (which is a weird term, as I always considered blending to be a loud noise, like a blender drawing attention to it – oh… God this sentence isn’t blending into the article is it? I’ll just close this bracket) maybe consider asking around and taking a bit more on. YES it might be a bit awkward if you haven’t done it before in an internship, so I recommend dashing something across in an email to the boss / colleague / enemy in question. Be like: “hiyaaaaaaaaa, need a hand with anything else etc etc?” Don’t do what I did though… accept every single piece of work that is offered to you within a 5000 mile radius. As a means to impress my colleagues, I even started to accept work that I knew wasn’t even capable at doing, just in the hope that if I did manage it I was going to impress them. This included being handed a 200 word document to proof-read urgently for a corporate presentation. Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? It wasn’t. For you see reader, I am dyslexic. I found it impossible to know whether any of my changes made any sense. In a fit of panic, I was adding letters in and taking letters out, as if doing The Times crossword while drunk and the document subsequently became the biggest insult to the English Language known to man. The sentence “oh didn’t I tell you that I was dyslexic?” afterwards didn’t necessarily help things either.
Get to know your colleagues
Half the reason why interns like me have been left behind in the office is simple, it can be really difficult for you to get to know anybody. So here are a few tips. Bring in food (or leave some food at the end of your desk), don’t spend £££ at Pret A Manger, bring in your own lunch-y grub, so you can all chat over lunch. Most importantly, if people ask you to go for drinks one day after work, seriously contemplate going for drinks. Don’t try too hard though. Nobody likes a show off. And of course, if you hate your colleagues… just sit in a toilet cubicle with your feet not touching the ground eating egg mayonnaise sandwiches during your lunch break. Everybody wins.
Asking to come back
The biggest test about internships is that email you send approximately two weeks later, the biggest test about whether you have truly been left been left behind, the “please can I come back? As I had a really good time” email. In my experience, I’ve found that the best tone for this sort of communication is a mixture between politely requesting and pleading. Demonstrate the work that you’ve done so far if they’re unsure about who you are, then try to show that you’ve enjoyed your experience and that you’re really keen. And what if you didn’t like your work experience or internship? THEN MAYBE DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT LIKE WRITE ARTICLES ENDING IN CAPITAL LETTERS AND EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!!!!!!!!