Some of my horrendous mistakes that I've learned dearly from (and hope you will too) are as follows:
- When your editor is sitting at her desk working, it is not the time to walk up to her and ask, "Is there anything I can do?" I did not have a specific task to do at the moment, so I took it upon myself to make sure every single loose staple, scrap of paper, fiber strand, etc was off the floor -- in addition to organizing the magazine stacks in categories based on title and size, and categorizing the plastic ziplock bags based on size. Afterwards, I asked my editor about any possible tasks for me -- while she was busy typing an email. No, don't interrupt an editor when she is busy -- your job is to make her job easier.
- Clothing racks are organized by type of clothing -- then you can arrange the clothes in alphabetical order or color once they're in their respective categories. I spent two hours alphabetizing two racks of clothing based solely on the brand -- only to find out later after the other interns had trouble finding some clothes that alphabetizing comes after clothing categories. I spent another two hours mending my mistake.
- Always ask the other interns if they need any help -- especially if you're new like me and you need to learn the ropes. The other interns are so efficient and organized that I thought they wouldn't need any help -- which is why I spent so much of the past three days figuring out how to find something to do when I probably could have learned something new if I had asked the other interns -- and in fact, I did today. I learned a lot in just five minutes and have better awareness of how to keep busy.
- Speaking of which, always keep busy. Yesterday, I sat on a footstool for five minutes because my feet were blistered and I had no idea what else I could do -- not a good idea. Editors notice this kind of idle behavior and don't approve of it, even if you don't think they notice. There is always something to do, whether it's cleaning up the closet or replying to some emails. Get busy -- but don't interfere.
- Smile and be enthusiastic -- no matter how tired or nervous you may think you are. Oh my goodness, while I am normally quite a cheerful person, I became so nervous in these past few days that my voice has become meeker and I've almost become reluctant to smile because I feel like I'm doing everything wrong -- and in many ways I am. Once again, editors notice this -- and as much as you can say you want to be there, a smile speaks for itself. Note to self: You got sleep last night -- so stop being so nervous and smile because you do love it there! Small mistakes are forgiven, as long as you work hard.
In the meantime, I'm out to improve myself as an intern!