Resources > Section 17 > Orientation > Interning in the US
#17-251A winning frame of mindPDFReturnURL
Going abroad and interning in the US is a rewarding yet challenging experience that requires one to make a great deal of adjustments in their mindset and behavior. This section is meant to provide tips and advice that will help prospective interns adapt to a new work environment.
Going abroad to intern will require new routines and ways of thinking. Prepare for changes with a new frame of mind in order to maximize the benefits of the internship experience.
1 Set realistic expectations. Disappointments arise from gaps between what students expect and what they encounter leading to unsuccessful internship experiences. To minimize disappointments, set flexible objectives and try not to idealize your expectations. Expect challenges and obstacles that you may encounter and gradually adjust your approach to your work along the way.

2 Cultivate a growth mindset. Participants with a growth mindset are more likely to produce great outcomes at their jobs. A common characteristic of growth mindset participants is that they embrace challenges, persist, and adjust their behavior after making mistakes.

3 Step out of your comfort zone. Every internship experience is an exposure to a new and unfamiliar environment where you may have to deal with uncomfortable situations and adjust. Do not fear the new environment around you – instead, embrace the unfamiliarity and try out new things.

4 Get used to new performance rating systems. Work environments have rating systems that are different from academia. In a workplace, ratings are more based on more qualitative and subjective (i.e., first impressions, circumstances, and soft skills) than simply good grades.

5 Switch to a professional mindset. In the professional world, it is vital to be mature and develop a professional mindset. Common qualities of effective managers/leaders include the ability to compromise, find common ground, and manage conflicts amicably.

6 Think critically. Critical thinking plays an important part of your internship as it progresses and the assignments become more difficult. Be prepared to ask questions and think from different angles.