3. Start networking with other departments
Now that you’re comfortable with your own job, why not learn about some of the other roles in the office? “If you haven’t been meeting people within the organization but outside of your current role, it may be time to start asking people out to coffee,” says Miller. “Try to connect with at least one new person each week, if not more. Ask them about their jobs and for their advice on your career.” Shoot your coworkers an email introducing yourself and asking if they’d be free to grab a coffee sometime this week. Who knows, a meeting with someone in a different department could even open you up to a career path you hadn’t previously considered.
Ariana Finlayson, staff editor at UsMagazine.com and web features director for Ed2010, an organization that helps student journalists break into the magazine industry, suggests setting up informational interviews with people in different departments you want to know more about.
“At a recent Ed2010 panel, one editor said that she has met a few interns toward the end of their internships and they were so great, she wishes they had reached out for a meeting sooner!” Finlayson says. “Halfway through is a good time because you have a few weeks under your belt and have hopefully proven that you can handle the different tasks thrown your way.”
Finlayson suggests making the meeting quick and somewhere nearby, such as at the building’s café or in the employee’s office, and always come prepared.
“I once had an informational interview with a recent grad and she came prepped with a list of questions she wanted to ask me. That told me she was organized and really interested in learning more,” Finlayson says.
If a one-on-one meeting sounds too intimidating, “ask to sit in on meetings to get a better grasp of how the company functions,” suggests Kayla Inanc, brand coordinator for Intern Queen, Inc..
4. Hang out with your fellow interns
You don’t just have to network with other employees—why not network with the other interns, too? They may seem like competition at times, but your fellow interns could be just as useful to your future job search as other employees. “I still talk to the girls I interned with at my very first internship, and they're at various magazines and we've even helped each other along the way,” says Finlayson. “Having friends in the industry is very, very important.”
Career incentives aside, it’s always fun to hang out with people who have similar interests as you! Next time you’re in the office, suggest to the interns that you grab dinner or drinks after work on Friday, or plan a Saturday lunch date. Get to know each other, swap career advice, or just plain hang out and enjoy one another’s company. But make sure you’re not getting so chummy that you become unprofessional; if you complain about work to your fellow interns or get a little too sloppy during an interns’ night out, that could easily make its way back to your supervisor.
5. Think to the future
The best way to stay on track is to create a list of goals for your internship and your future career. What do you still want to do in the time you have left in your internship? Whether it’s a contact you wanted to make or a project you wanted to work on, write it down to make sure it doesn’t slip your mind before you’re done; two to three months can go by pretty fast.
“Ask yourself this question: ‘When this internship is over, what do I want to be able to say I accomplished?’” says Miller. “Having that mental picture of what you want to experience will help you craft the experience in a positive way.”
Huhman suggests writing down “a list of 10 ‘pros’ about your internship and how it relates to your goals.”
“This can include how the opportunity will benefit your career specifically, what you've learned about your industry, how you can apply these new skills elsewhere, etc.,” says Huhman. “Seeing an organized list of the positive aspects of your position can help you to remember why you were so excited about the opportunity to begin with, and ultimately, power you through the rest of the summer.”
So what are you waiting for? Write down your goals, get networking, and make the most of the last month or so that you have left of this opportunity!