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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ball State chapter.

There is so much to think about when looking for your first or even your next summer internships. As you may know, internships are a helpful way to gain experience, but also connections in your desired industry. If you go about them just right, your summer internship could even turn into a job, eliminating the pesky job search process. Here’s how:

1. Get Prepared

The onset of an internship can feel very overwhelming. You’re meeting so many different professionals, you may have even temporarily relocated, and you’re getting absolutely inundated with information about the company and the work you’ll be doing. During this stage of the internship, take notes!

One of the best life-savers during my past two summer internships was making sure I took thorough notes on all the information that was thrown at me. If I needed to refer to something later on, I knew I had notes on it that would help me out. This can give you a leg up, because when your fellow interns have issues, they’ll see you as a resourceful person to get answers from, and leadership will notice how valuable you are!

Moreover, you’ll spend more time being a top-performer rather than relegating time to sourcing information shared during your onboarding process. If you want to feel confident throughout your internship, it is going to be in your best interest to stay engaged during onboarding and onwards by taking notes. Remember, a building is only as strong as its foundation (so build the strong foundation for yourself).

2. Manage Up

Keep your managers in the loop! Managing up is essentially being the most valuable employee to your higher-ups and the company as a whole. There are so many ways to manage up (and I recommend looking into them here) and among the most valuable is engaging with them regularly. Whether that is scheduling a weekly meeting with them, emailing them at the end of the week on your status regarding work tasks, or whatever other way works best, make sure they know what you’re doing. This will serve two important functions; helping them manage work assignments and reminding them of the work you’re producing for the team. 

3. Manage your time

Manage up, but also manage your time well. Internships are designed to give you the experience of what it would be like to be a professional at the company. With that, many tasks will be assigned to you. To stay on top of everything, it’s essential to get good and stay good at managing your time. Personally, I’ve implemented a weekly planner approach to this. I set aside an hour on Sunday to go through my meetings for the week on my Outlook calendar and also block off time between those meetings to focus on work tasks. In that, I’ll designate priorities and sometimes take note of what tasks I’ll need to speak with my managers about if I need more time. This will support you in getting off to the right start each week, while also maximizing your productivity.

Keep in mind, this is a workplace and sometimes, things do change at the last minute. You may have to re-adjust your calendar periodically and THAT IS OK!  Being highly productive will make room for sudden adjustments. So, be on top of your schedule, but also be open to being flexible when necessary. 

4. Take on tasks, confidently 

Show your managers you can take on work! When they throw out a task during a call, mindfully take them on if your schedule allows. At the end of your internship, it’ll be helpful to put out several high-quality deliverables you produced for your projects. The way to do that is by being involved. However, make sure to be conscious of how much is too much. Several, low-quality deliverables won’t get you far, but a few high-quality ones will set you up for success in pursuit of a job. 

5. Periodically ask for performance reviews throughout your internship

An internship is meant for you to learn. Some of the best lessons are learnt through mistakes. The best way to conquer those mistakes is to talk to your managers regularly about your overall performance and where you can improve. 

My previous internships spanned 10 weeks. I took the approach of informally asking my managers for feedback bi-weekly. I found that this allowed me to readily improve on my weaknesses.

6. Network, network, network

You are around brilliant professionals and you should take the opportunity to get to know them and pick their brains. The way to get the most out of your internship is by learning from the pros in the game for the long haul. They’ll know the ins and outs, and they’ll be able to share information with you about your desired industry that you may not have uncovered otherwise. Plus, there’s the opportunity to make a new professional connection that can help you propel your career further along. Networking now will enhance your networking skills for later on. So take advantage of the opportunity to work on this important skill!

7. Stay informed!

One of the most basic things you can do is be up-to-date on the requirements for being considered for a full-time position. What are the eligibility requirements? For example, some internships require that applicants have graduated from college at the time of submitting the application. In this case, some internships will also take students’ GPAs into consideration as well. It’ll be important to think about your stats and how they line up with the job’s requirements.

You also need to think about if you’ll have the opportunity to apply for a full-time position. Sometimes internships are granted as one-offs and are not available for immediate job offers following the internships. Others may only offer repeat internships directly rather than a job. It will be important that you understand this at the baseline to save yourself a little time and effort in pursuit of a job if a job opportunity is not available. 

If possible, you may also want to see what the prospect of getting a job is following your internships. Most commonly, leadership is only able to take in a portion of your intern class. You’ll want to consider the chance of earning a full-time position. Bottom line, the more competitive a job offer is, the harder you’ll need to work out to stand out from the rest of your peers.


There’s a lot to keep in mind if you want an internship to become a job. Don’t let that scare you. Prepare yourself and be ready from day one to excel. A building is only as strong as its foundation, right? So the stronger foundation you create for yourself heading into your internship, the stronger potential you have in terms of your performance throughout the program and earning a job at the end.

Hey there, I'm Cameron Beteet, a graduate student at Ball State University, immersed in the world of Emerging Media Development and Design. My academic journey revolves around delving into the intricacies of emerging technologies such as XR, AR, VR, and AI, with a keen focus on mastering the art of User Experience and Interface Design. Beyond the lecture halls and study sessions, I'm a Video and Administration Graduate Assistant at Ball State's Digital Corps. This part-time role allows me to apply my knowledge in a practical setting, honing my skills in video production and administration. I find joy in being part of a dynamic team that thrives on creativity and innovation. Looking ahead, my aspirations extend beyond the confines of the campus. Post-graduation, I envision leveraging my technical prowess in video and content creation to contribute to the digital marketing landscape. My goal is to play a pivotal role in helping businesses thrive by strategically promoting and showcasing their offerings via trans-media campaigns. Follow along with my adventures via Ball State's Her Campus chapter as I share insights, experiences, and discoveries from my college life.