How to Make the Most Out of Your Internship

Internships are a great opportunity to get experience in a field you want to work in after college. However, some internship programs are more developed than others. Whether you’re busy every second of the day or you’re sitting around bored half the time, here are some tips to make the most out of your internship. 

Ask questions. Asking questions is the best thing you can do to learn more about your job and the company. Your boss will be impressed with your interest to learn. Also, don't be afraid to ask something that you think you're not allowed to. P.S. If you have a question about something that may be critical going forward, ask it within your first week so that you won't be clueless the entirety of your internship, and you won’t be nervous to ask later on. 

Take notes. Have a small notebook next to you every day where you can quickly jot down notes and questions you have. You can look back at these notes to remind yourself how to do something or to see how much you’ve learned.

Write weekly reflections. Going along with the note-taking, write a reflection at the end of each week summarizing what you learned/what you did that week. Taking notes every day will help with this! It will also be a great thing to look back at when describing what you did in your internship to future interviewers.

Network. Nowadays networking is crucial to almost everything. If you are interning at a large company, networking and getting to know what other people do will be helpful when possibly trying to get a full-time offer at the company. If you are interning at a small company, networking may not be as important, but just getting to know people and what they do will show a lot of interest on your part.

Say yes to everything. If you have the opportunity to sit in on a meeting, to attend a networking function, or to do something different from your daily routine, say yes! If you say no, you could even accidentally come across as rude. Saying yes to these opportunities will allow you to learn new things that could help you understand the job and company better. Also, you will most likely have time to accept all these opportunities that you wouldn’t have time for in a full-time job.

Use your down time wisely. You may have some days when you are not doing much, but instead of going on your phone, do some little things like going through your email or doing something extra that your boss didn’t instruct you to do. If you are able to make or do something that helps the company increase their productivity in some way, you will definitely be remembered!

Challenge yourself. Don't be afraid to try something at work that you don't know how to do. Try your best and then ask for assistance. Sitting there and only doing the things you know how to do won't allow you grow and learn from your internship.

Take time to relax. If your internship is during the summer, don’t forget to take time to relax. If you spend your whole summer working at your internship and another job, you will likely get burned out. Take some time to just relax so you can put everything into your work. After all, this may be one of your last summers off!

Be yourself. Don’t forget to be real and talk about stuff other than work with your boss/co-interns. It’s good to remain professional, but don’t be afraid to be yourself and have a real conversation about something other than work.

Following these tips will definitely help you get more out of your internship than just a line on your resume. Plus, they will help you get noticed and remembered, which will be helpful if you want to be offered a full-time job at the company.

 

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