Top Ten Tips for getting the most out of your internships
1. Take responsibility:
Strive to have the experiences included in your objectives. Balance your desires and the needs of the employers. Do not be a passive participant.
2. Don't be afraid to ask questions:
Use an opportunity to learn. Seek advice when you are unsure.
3. Take initiative:
Ask for additional work, tackle tough problems with new solutions, ask if you can attend extra meetings and events on your time.
4. Get to know people:
Expand your professional network, build relationships with as many people as you can, introduce yourself and be friendly to everyone in the office.
5. Connect your experience:
Spend time reflecting on what skills you are learning so you can articulate them in future interviews - tangible accomplishments, understand your strengths and weaknesses, career direction.
6. Get to work early:
Show up early, work hard and leave a little bit later than scheduled, take short lunch hours/breaks. Call your supervisor immediately in the morning if you are ill (and this should be rare).
7. Listen well:
Take notes so you can refer back to the original assignment goals. Ask for help early, not when your project deadline is near. Show respect and value the opinion of experienced staff.
8. Be neat and clean:
Be careful about your grooming; be aware of how you are presenting yourself. Notice how others dress in jobs similar to yours and dress at least as well.
9. Don’t just quit:
You may feel uncomfortable, not qualified for the position or bored at first. It is important to stick it out. Ask your supervisor for more responsibility, some different assignments, and discuss your concerns. If you still are having difficulty, consult with internship staff or your professor before quitting. Quitting creates missed opportunities for future students. Sometimes students learn the most from difficult experiences.
10. Be enthusiastic:
Find ways to enjoy your work and make sure to let your supervisor know what you like about your internship, identify the skills you want to develop in your internship and look for opportunities to learn. Take any training that is available from your employer and supplement it with reading manuals/books recommended by your supervisor.