By Bailey Collmann
On June 6th, the Minneapolis Summer of 2022 internship class (myself included) walked into The Stable office, excited for the weeks ahead. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we all were determined to learn as much as possible. Our Chief People and Culture Officer, Steph Propp, answered our pressing questions over lunch on our first day. We learned where we could sit, why the different rooms throughout the office had unique names, and most importantly, which snacks in the kitchen were the best.
Now, as we near the end of our internships, we have learned a thing or two and are basically experts (right?) on how to navigate being an intern.
Looking for advice for interns? We’ve discovered a few tips along the way that might be helpful to others as they embark on their internship journeys. So, fear not, the list below is the ultimate survival guide of internship tips for years to come.
Make sure your laptop is ready to go. Mac or PC, your own or office loaned; a laptop is most likely essential to your internship. Make sure you have access to email, Slack, Google Calendar, Google Meet, etc. Your laptop is your main hub, so always keep it charged and have a charger on hand.
Bring headphones to keep conversations quiet. If your office is anything like ours in Minneapolis, it might have a space that promotes a collaborative environment. In our office, if all the conference rooms are full, we work in a common space. Since the desks are close together, it is important to have a set of headphones to use during calls and meetings.
It’s time to get technical with a USB-C Digital Adapter. In our office, all of the desks have monitors. Not everyone uses them, but sometimes it is helpful to have more than one screen. If it’s an option, having your own adapter will make this easier. For me, it came in handy more than once.
Personal Care Items
It’s important to stay hydrated. Days can get long, and staying hydrated helps us stay alert and focused. Fan favorite water bottle brands from this year’s interns are Hydroflask and Stanley. The water stays cold all day, making every sip refreshing. At The Stable, our office has a fully stocked kitchen in case we forgot water or snacks, but it was still useful to have a bottle on hand as we moved around the office.
Chapstick, because you might be talking a lot. As an intern, some days you are talking a lot. Whether that is going from meeting to meeting or chatting with coworkers around the office, those lips can get dry! I always have my Burts Bees on hand to refresh throughout the day.
P.S. Your office is likely stocked with some of these essentials, so don’t worry if you’re not fully prepared on the first day or even your last!
Work From Home: Dos and Don’ts
Find a Balance. If there is one thing that I can say confidently, it is that all of the interns love the flexibility of being able to work both in person and remotely. I personally chose to work from home twice a week and went into the office for the other three. I would encourage every intern to make it a priority to be in the office weekly. Not only do you get accustomed to more faces, but you also make connections with others in the company that you may not interact with otherwise.
“What’s that behind you?” If you are on a Google Meet (or any video call) with your camera on, be aware of what others on the call can see in the background. For me personally, my desk is in my college apartment bedroom, so while my bed is always made in the background of my screen, I do implement the blur effect out of professionalism. Try to situate yourself so that your background is pretty neutral and not distracting.
Remember to set a routine. Working from home is great, but sometimes it can be distracting. I found that setting a routine and treating working from home the same as working in the office were key to making sure that I was still focused and on task.
Navigating Downtown (If you’re in Minneapolis!)
Finding a place to park: If you have a car that you are using to get to the office, it’s obviously important to know where to park. For our Minneapolis office, there is a parking ramp underneath the building where we can take advantage of the early bird pricing. Most parking ramps, this one included, offer special rates for those who get there before certain times. In case you don’t make it in time, there are more ramps near The Stable office building that will offer cheaper rates. Other companies might be similar, so look out for some of the same things!
For all of your lunch time needs: In an ideal world, I would always bring lunch to work to save money. But, let’s be honest, some days I am running late and other times I didn’t go to the grocery store before the week started. Whatever the reason may be for not bringing lunch, it’s okay! I gave myself a set amount of days that I could buy lunch out, and made sure to stick to it to ensure that I was not spending too much money (because it does add up!). On the days that I bought lunch, I would pick between two favorites. If you’re in downtown Minneapolis like me, Roti is a modern Mediterranean restaurant that has delicious food. I always get the chicken and rice bowl, but they are fully customizable. Green + The Grain has the best salads (just ask around the office!), and you can choose from one of their creations, or create your own. Pro tip: if you are going out to get lunch, try to go before the lunch rush because the lines do get long.
Tunnels, but in the sky: If you’re in Minneapolis, one of my favorite things about downtown is the skyway system. While it can be confusing at first, once you master it, the skyways get you places faster. While it was not cold in MN, the skyways did offer protection from the rain and the heat. You also get to see some pretty cool views.
There are going to be things that are not in this guide that you will learn and pick up along the way; that’s what being an intern is all about! Use this guide as a starting point and reference to help get settled into life as an intern. Remember to use this internship as an opportunity to learn, make connections, and have fun. Good luck!
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The Stable is a commerce agency that connects brands and consumers across all channels. Leveraging a full suite of omnichannel capabilities, we drive revenue and efficiency for brands through both retail and direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels. Backed by data, fueled by insights, and brought to life through world-class sales and operations, creative, digital, and patented technology, we build and execute strategies that acquire customers, create immersive experiences, and scale brands.