< Back to Ann Taylor Blog

Style for Students: What I Learned from My Summer Internship

summer internship Kristen Lee

With the transition to fall finally upon us, students are leaving their summer internships and returning to school for the new semester. In our second installment of our summer intern profiles, we spoke with Kristen, a California native and avid food blogger who spent the summer in New York City at a startup. She told us more about her experience and gave us a few go-to tips for summer interns; we have to admit, we’re jealous of her summer spent working with artisan coffee!  

Where did you intern this summer, and what was your position?

Social Media & Advertising Intern at Joyride Coffee Distributors, but I did a little bit of everything, including making the cold brew down in the warehouse. That’s the beauty of working at a start-up.

What are your five best pieces of advice for summer interns based on your experience? (elaborate)

1. Network. Take advantage of what your company does and other companies your company works with. My company distributes coffee to companies all over the city, so I took that opportunity to reach out to people at those companies if they did something that interested me. People are a lot more willing to grab a quick coffee and help you out, more so than you would think considering everybody’s busy schedule.

2. Be on time. I’m terrible at it, but seeing people being punctual was really respectable. They tended to be less frazzled, the bosses appreciated them more, and they were more productive because they were getting there on time and there was nothing to cram.

3. Take some sort of break, whether it be a lunch break or just a coffee break. It’s good for talking with co-workers about what they are doing or if they have any advice for you. I’ve probably learned the most valuable things while just sitting and talking to one of my co-workers or having lunch. On another level, it’s just a healthy break mentally and physically.

4. Be proactive. Don’t just sit around and wait for people to tell you to do stuff. If you don’t have anything particular at the moment or it’s a stressful sort of day for everyone else, ask people if you can help them out.

5. Save the money you make. Obviously, it’s incredibly tempting to go out every night for dinner or to the bars, especially when you get your paycheck. But save it. I always feel so good when I’ve saved the money I’ve earned, instead of dreading the moment when I have to look at my bank account and cry in a corner.

6. I know you only asked for 5 pieces of advice, but I have to add: be happy in the workplace. Negativity spreads like wildfire, but so does positivity. Things can get really hectic and if everybody is being an asshole about it, well, you can imagine how that could go.

What’s your “power piece” – the one item in your closet you can’t live without?

In terms of clothing, I’m currently obsessed with a classic blazer that I got at a store in Korea. In terms of accessories, I never go without my leather wrap bracelets!