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A significant milestone of adulthood is getting your first job.

Whether you’re a graduate or a professional undergoing a career change, your entrance into a job will be through an internship.

Internships give you valuable work experience, an opportunity to build networks in your chosen field and growth as a professional.

Here are 25 things you’ll learn about internships by 25:

Having career goals will give you some structure as you enter the job market. Know what you want and what you’re good at, and also be open to learn and adjust as you go along

Internships require that you understand the bigger picture of why you’re working at your job. You’ll be doing boring tasks that full-time employees have no want or time to do, therefore understanding the bigger picture keeps you motivated

Expect to be overworked and underpaid or not paid at all. Remember that bigger picture is getting work experience and building your skill set

The only person you’re competing with is yourself, not your fellow interns. It’s your career that you’re building

It’s important to be on time for work

Having a polished and professional look plays an important role in people taking you seriously

The usual mindset you have after graduation is that you going to go to a company and bring positive and major changes. Before that can happen, you need to learn the ropes of the job from ground level

Your superiors just want your work done. You must meet all your deadlines, and the quality of your work has to be excellent

It goes a long way to be a nice person to work with. Leave your arrogance and ego in the parking lot, and adopt a humble and helpful attitude

Also, leave your temper tantrums at home

As an intern, you learn the art of keeping calm in times of crisis. Panic does not solve problems

Your time management skills will be chiseled as you learn to prioritize in order to meet deadlines, and you learn to be responsible so that your personal life doesn’t affect your professional life

Part of being hands-on as an intern is taking on challenging projects and going the extra mile. It’s awesome to be the person that co-workers can rely on to do the job and produce great work

But with going the extra mile comes the responsibility of being realistic about a number of tasks you take on to ensure that you don’t get snowed under with work

If you don’t understand something, ask. You’re there to learn aside from making everyone else’s job easier

Be open to constructive criticism. It’s for your own good and for the good of the company

As an intern, your day ends when your superior has all they need from you

It’s not a good idea to leave the office before finishing a project or checking in with your superior

Keeping up to date with any developments in your industry is a necessity

Making an effort to connect with your superiors is important as they won’t magically know you unless you make the effort

Being an intern will teach you people skills as you learn how to work with people and how to resolve conflict

Rather keep oversharing your personal life and gossip at bay when socializing with your fellow colleagues. They are your co-workers and not your friends

Don’t share the organization’s confidential information or post status updates where you take credit for someone else’s work on social media

Also, bragging on social media about your job isn’t a great idea as you have a long way to go to prove yourself

Internships will teach you more about your strengths and make you aware of your weaknesses. You’ll learn to capitalize on what you’re good at and work at your weaknesses

Enjoy the experience of being an intern and learn all you can because it’s for your own good.

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