How to Make the Most of Your Internship

So, you landed your first internship in the ‘real world!’ Newsroom, corporate boardroom, or whatever your dream job is - all it takes is one opportunity to make a connection, boost your confidence, or get that piece of advice to take your career to the next level. It can be intimidating walking into a new office and being thrown into work with a group of people who have already established a work dynamic. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help ease yourself into the work and make the best of the opportunity you have been given.

 

Be yourself and act confident . . . even if you’re nervous!

Obviously, you want to make a good first impression. This starts with being yourself. If you’re ‘faking it till you make it,’ you may come off as inauthentic. As much as you may want to impress the boss, you should also focus on getting to know your colleagues and forging genuine connections with them. This is especially true if your internship is just a short placement - it shows that you can get to know people quikcly and fit in with the team. Making friends with the people you work with is also a great way to learn. They can answer some of your questions so you don’t have to ask your supervisor everything.

Take advantage of all the opportunities presented to you.

One way to learn is to go outside of your comfort zone. This not to mean you should go on any assignment that you’re uncomfortable if you have legitimate  safety concerns. But, definitely keep an open mind about the types of assignments you might not be used to doing. Jumping at various opportunities shows that you are versatile. This is also the most obvious and hands-on way to learn new things!

Don’t be afraid to ask for more or less work.

Everyone works at different paces, especially if you’re new. If you’re working all day and don’t seem have enough work to fill the time, remember that you’re not interning to be bored! Approach your supervisor and ask if there is anything else they have for you to do, or if there is anything you can take off their hands. They’ll be impressed by your work ethic. Alternatively, if you seem to be getting piles of things to do each day, don’t be afraid to tell your supervisor it’s too much. If you’re genuinely unable to complete all your tasks, they should be receptive and impressed that you’re able to advocate for yourself. As an intern, you’re there for a learning opportunity, not to be taken advantage of!

 

The best thing you can do if you’re a newbie in the office is: ask questions and be sure of yourself. You got the internship for a reason, so make the most of the opportunities, connections, and time that you have been given.