How to Get the Most Out of Your Internships

Before graduating college it is helpful to get a couple internships under your belt and build a good resume with connections. Luckily Endicott makes that a requirement for students, so I have already accomplished two before my junior year. Internships are great for learning what you like and don’t like for your future careers, which is why it’s so helpful to know before you graduate. I have learned a few tips that I will continue to use going forward in my future internships and even careers that I thought I would pass along to anyone interested in doing the same.


Before your internship even begins:   


Go into the workplace a couple days before and experience the work environment before committing..

I wish I knew this from the beginning because it is so important. My first internship I was very familiar with the environment, but my second I just sort of went in. Besides visiting the site for an interview, I hadn’t really experienced the work environment before. You want to experience the personalities at the site, the physical environment, and understand completely what your tasks and roles will be there. This is all important to know because it determines how comfortable and satisfied you will be at this internship. My intuition is pretty good and I can read people from first impressions, so I wished I did that from the beginning. I probably would have chosen another site, because everything ended up being a lot different than I imagined. Just a couple days before commiting will probably be able to help you determine whether or not it is a good fit for you.


Set clear goals and be sure to follow through when it’s time..  

Before committing to anything it’s a great idea to set personal goals. Going into an internship you want to know exactly what you’re looking to get out of it, and go after that. If you go in without any, you may not learn or thrive there.


During your internship:


Make connections within the organization and outside of the organization

Take advantages with any meetings you attend or places you travel with the agency. Talk to people within and find out who they’re connected to, see where they have been previously. Take business cards, and get your name out there!


Identify a mentor, or your go-to person

Not everyone is always going to be so friendly, so find someone who will be there for you and show you the ropes. It’s nice to have a go-to person for any questions and just to talk to in general. Also identify a mentor, someone to look up to and learn from. They might end up being someone you can get recommendations from, or other connections.


Keep a journal to track your daily activities or experiences

Later when you’re looking for more internships or careers you’re going to want to look back. The information will probably prove valuable, and if not it’s still memories to hold for even later in life. I used my notes from my first internship as a tool in my last internship to help me out.


Ask for feedback

How else are you going to learn? You want to know what you’re doing well and what you could improve on for the future.