How to Get the Most Out of Your Internship

In order to break into almost any field, you’ll most likely have to pay your dues and do an internship to gain experience. Internships don’t have to be all about coffee runs and making copies; they should be a learning experience where you build your professional skills. Here are some tips on how to make your internship the best it can be.

 

Make sure you pick the right company

This seems obvious, but don’t just pick a company because the job title will look good on your resume or because they keep their snack room stocked. You want to choose a company that you could see yourself growing at and that fits image of the type of business you see yourself working at full-time. If you intern at a certain type of company and decide it’s not for you, take it as a learning experience! Now you know what you don’t like and you are closer to figuring out what you do like.

 

Create clear goals from the start

At most internships, you usually will have a supervisor that is considered your point-person for all questions that you may have and who is also in charge of your training. It is important to meet with this person and establish what you want to learn from the internship.

An internship is time for you to establish your hard skills that will go on your resume. Hard skills are more tangible things you can do, such as programs you know how to navigate or the types of projects that you have done. When a recruiter looks at the skills section of your resume, they’ll want to see these hard skills rather than soft skills, such as punctuality or work ethic. So make sure you go over with your supervisor all of the skills that you hope to learn during your time at the company!

 

Arrange meetings with the team

Most companies have some sort of calendar to view everyone’s schedule. Take a look at the company calendar and try and arrange short 10-15 minute meetings with everyone in the office that you can. Simply shoot them an email saying you are the new intern and that you want to meet so you can learn more about what they do. Sit down with as many employees as you can and ask questions about how they got there, what they like and dislike about their job and ask them for any industry tips or advice that they could give you. This will show that you are interested in the company and also the people who work there. It will also show your devotion and tenacity!

 

Set a schedule that works for you

School should always be a priority, so when starting your internship be sure to set your hours at a reasonable amount for you each week. Try and be consistent with when you come in, and of course never be late.

 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

You are an intern; you aren’t expected to know everything yet! Don’t be afraid to ask your superiors for notes on your work and ask as many questions as possible. Internships are all about learning!

 

Make sure to ask insightful questions, and do everything you can to get the most out of your internship. If anyone has a great success story from an internship or job, I would love to hear it!