If any of you are like me, your life has been consumed with becoming a successful intern at a successful company in your preferred field. Being in a communication major, internships are not only the key to your future success, but in most situations more crucial than a post-bachelor degree. Some of you might feel overwhelmed about the entire process or even intimidated by your roommate that has had two internships a semester since her freshman year. Does having fifteen internships in the course of your college career really put you ahead of other candidates? The real question interns should ponder is which is more important: quality or quantity? I feel that quality wins this race. In the minds of many, it is more beneficial to have a few valuable internships, where you are given responsibility to work on projects on your own, than having enough internships to fill up a four-page resume, where your daily tasks include fetching coffee and making copies.
Here are a few pointers to help you gain quality experience from your internship:
1.) Ask questions!
The worst questions are the ones not asked. If you are unsure of something, do not be afraid to ask your supervisor. They would rather you ask and perform the task right then find out later on that you did something wrong. Also, asking questions might help you find a more effective way to perform a task.
2.) Inquire about other opportunities in other departments
If your supervisor has nothing for you to do that day, do not be afraid to go to other departments to offer your lending hand. Not only will you look hard working, but it will also help you discover what other departments do. You might find that you enjoy what that department does over the department you’re currently in.
3.) Network, Network, Network
I cannot stress enough how important networking is for your career. If you do not already have a LinkedIn, I recommend you get an account ASAP. I actually just made one last week! Networking not only provides potential career opportunities, but also introduces you to other professionals in your preferred field. The relationships you create with those professionals can help you gain insight to the inner workings of that industry and effective ways to excel.
4.) Dress in signature fashion pieces
Looking your best can make you feel more self-assured, and there is nothing professionals want more in an intern than confidence. Dressing in signature fashion pieces not only makes you look poised, but also showcases your creativity, which is a win-win! Who does not want to hear from your supervisor that their supervisor thought the intern in the trendy crème blazer and a chunky red necklace is doing a fabulous job! Who cares if they do not know your name!
Remember that the key to excelling in your internship is a desire to learn and work hard. You get just as much out of something that you put into it. Remain confident, but do not be afraid to ask questions. Network with everyone you come into contact with. These helpful tips will ensure you get the most out of your internship, as well as the company getting the most out of you!