Coward to Confident: How to Conquer Imposter Syndrome as an Intern

Instead of the first-day excitement of a new school year, you wake up to your heart beating a little faster than usual. You took all the same steps as you did when you were a freshman in high school: picking out your outfit and packing your lunch the night before, waking up extra early to get ready, and even cooking a special breakfast. But, this time around, your 7:00 am smile looks more like a quivering lip, sweaty hands, and short-piercing breaths. You can’t shake the constant feeling of unease or dread, with the sense that something bad is about to happen.

As a first (or even second or third) time intern, it’s natural to feel a little bit nervous or unsure of yourself at times. After all, you’re working alongside experienced professionals who have been in the industry for years, and you may be worried about measuring up to their expectations. This feeling of self-doubt is known as “imposter syndrome,” and it’s something that many interns and new professionals experience.

The good news is that imposter syndrome is not something that has to hold you back. With a few strategies and mindset shifts, I can help you to overcome imposter syndrome and thrive in your internship. Here are three steps to help you get started:

  1. Recognize that you belong here

First and foremost, it’s important to recognize that you were chosen for this internship for a reason. You have unique skills, experiences, and perspectives that make you a valuable member of the team. Remind yourself of this fact regularly, and don’t be afraid to share your ideas and opinions with your mentors.

  1. Embrace the opportunity to grow

As an intern, you’re bound to make mistakes from time to time. Instead of beating yourself up over these mistakes, use them as an opportunity to learn and grow. Ask for feedback from your colleagues and supervisors, and take their suggestions to heart. Remember that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process, and it doesn’t mean that you’re not cut out for this work.

  1. Practice self-compassion

Finally, it’s essential to practice self-compassion and be kind to yourself. Remember that everyone makes mistakes and that it’s okay to feel unsure of yourself at times. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a friend or colleague who was experiencing imposter syndrome.

By following these tips, you can overcome imposter syndrome and excel as an intern. Remember that you were chosen for this role for a reason and that you have what it takes to succeed in this industry. So go out there and let your perseverance conquer!


  1. I couldn’t agree more with everything that you had to say. It is so valuable to listen to confidence instead of letting imposter syndrome thoughts win. I love that you reminded everyone to practice self-compassion. At the end of the day, you always have yourself, which is why it is so important to be kind to yourself. What a beautifully written piece of advice. Best of luck in your future endeavors!

  2. I love your passionate storytelling and the introduction to your advice. Connecting the feeling of imposter syndrome to emotions and events we all can relate to makes it feel very personal, and therefore very helpful. It can be difficult to feel like you don’t belong somewhere, especially if you feel unprepared or unqualified for a position you’ve never been in before. The beauty of it is, that’s WHY you’re there. The only way to learn is to experience, and as an intern, that’s what you’re there to do. I think your advice of turning that fear into a different perspective, while not easy, is great. You don’t need to try and change what’s happening, just look at the narrative differently. 🙂

  3. I love this! I feel like imposter syndrome is something that a lot of people struggle with when entering their first job or internship. These three tips keep it simple and can help people realize that they shouldn’t blame themselves for feeling this way. The first tip of remembering that you belong there is such a great reminder! It’s so important to talk about feelings like this, so that people understand that they aren’t going through it alone!

  4. This post is exactly what I needed to hear as a current intern! It is extremely hard to move from a classroom setting into a professional workplace, without feeling your confidence waver. The first bullet point – recognize that you belong here – is a really great thing to remember when doubting yourself. We went through the hiring process and were chosen for a reason!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *