5 Essential Tips for Fitness Interns
Today I have a guest post by a former student, Nick LaRocca. As someone who interned for almost 2 years without pay I feel that Nick brings up some great points. Enjoy!
When most people think “intern” many roll their eyes and ask to speak with someone who knows what they’re doing. Here are the 5 essential qualities and mindsets every intern needs to possess in order to avoid the classic intern stigma.
1. Names– A person’s name means A LOT to them. Make a concerted effort to remember everyone’s name you come into contact with. If you intern at a company with a sign in sheet, that sign in sheet will be your study guide for that first week. The next week when you address and greet every client or employee by name, not only will you be welcomed with a friendly smile, but you will immediately have proven how much you care and you are there for the long haul. It shows an investment you’ve made in the company and the customers. Remember no one knows how much you know, until they know how much you care. Also, most people are too caught up in their body language to remember your name when shaking hands, so by listening and remembering their name you now have a step up already! Remember not to be offended when others do not remember your name. It is natural to get caught up in projecting positive body language over listening for pertinent information during an initial introduction.
2. Consistency– Do today, what you did yesterday. In most cases every intern on their first day reporting, is punctual, friendly, energetic, excited, engaging and ready to help. Rarely will that intern be the same helpful, enthusiastic character at the end of just one month. An intern’s responsibilities can sometimes be remedial, busy-work, odd jobs that become mundane and unimportant very quickly. If you slack, one day someone is going to check and your credibility will be shattered. It takes time to build the trust needed in order to be given more responsibility. Attention to detail at the boring jobs is what will persuade your supervisor to give you that responsibility. Especially if the company is looking to hire, the entire internship is the job interview, so consistently being on time (5 minutes early), completing all daily assignments (cleaning, organizing, etc.), and doing it with a positive attitude while being engaging to others is something every effective intern MUST have.
3. Get a Side Project– Creating something on your own with no one else forcing guidelines upon you, is a great way to show initiative, get creative, and eventually present to your supervisors if it pertains to the company or industry you are interning for. For example if you are an intern in the fitness industry, write programs you think would be good for the clients there. Show it to your supervisor and they’ll be pleased with your initiative and maybe even let you implement your exercise program!
4. Don’t Be Fazed– Despite being a top notch candidate and intern, you will still face criticism, skepticism, and it will be assumed you don’t know enough to be a competent contributor. If your mindset is to be patient and wait for your opportunity to showcase your skills you will forever be a lowly intern. As an intern, you need to be assertive but respectful, confident but not cocky, available to help but not overbearing. To be an effective intern means treading the line and being aware of how you are being received. The ability to take control and do it respectively is essential for any intern.
5. Network– This is great incentive to always be on top of your game as you never know who you will meet throughout the day. Internships tend to be unpaid so you will need to find other means of “compensation” that make an internship worthwhile. Experience is the main form of compensation and the most talked about. However networking may very well be a close second. This goes hand in hand with the first point on this list, NAMES. Think of it as a game where the goal is to meet and remember as many names and faces as possible while introducing yourself and making your name remembered by as many people as possible.
Adopt these 5 mindsets and you will be well on your way to a fulfilling internship and possibly a job offer!
AUTHOR BIO: Nicholas LaRocca has been in the fitness industry for over 3 years now. He is a certified personal trainer and is set to receive his Bachelors degree in Fitness Development. An avid outdoors and fitness enthusiast, Nick loves writing about his experiences so that they may shed light for others facing similar situations. Contact Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org
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