Internships offer an exciting opportunity to grow your both your professional and technical skillsets, not to mention your resume! To make the most of your experience and stand out from the crowd, here are 5 helpful tips to make the most of your time as you start your professional journey:
1. Above all else, treat your internship like a true, full-time position. Treating your internship like “the real deal” will in the end make you much the same, dramatically increasing your odds of a full-time offer down the road. By going all in and committing yourself, you’re able to showcase what it is you’re truly capable of and highlight your unique skills and abilities.
2. Take every networking opportunity. Networking is the key to long-term growth, especially internally at any company. During your internship, take any opportunity that comes your way to meet new people outside of your department and grow your network of connections. You just may be exactly the candidate someone else is looking for to fill a future position, or, at the very least, building a rapport with others may help keep your options open in the future during a full-time job search.
3. Be flexible and understanding. As things inevitably come up and go awry, be part of the solution, not the problem. The more easily adaptable you are during unexpected circumstances, the more valuable you will become in the eyes of your employers. As people tend to show their true colors in times of difficulty and uncertainty, be sure to make an extra effort to put your best foot forward during such periods.
4. Take initiative. Once you’ve learned the ropes, don’t wait around to be told what to do. Showcase your work ethic and independence by reaching out instead and get permission to take on new tasks. Employers don’t strive to hire employees who simply check the boxes and do exactly as they are told, they want people who can think for themselves and go above & beyond by taking initiative in their respective roles.
5. Ask both your co-workers and superiors for feedback. While this is good practice as you complete your work throughout your internship, it is especially important on a personal level in the final days. An internship is meant to be a learning experience, and what better way to learn how you can improve yourself than by getting feedback from those professionally closest to you! Having a deep understanding of both where you excel and the areas you can improve are vital to your long-term success. By listening closely and heeding their advice, you can continue to fine tune your professional self into the best person you can be. Additionally, be sure to consult both co-workers and superiors as each will have their own unique perspective.
May these tips serve you well – best of luck with your upcoming internship!