It is undeniable that doing an internship is important for college students to gain valuable experience in the professional world of their fields. Furthermore, each intern will have the opportunity to boost their skills, build their resumes, network with professionals and get the chance to be hired for a full-time position after graduation. However, not every college student knows how to make the best of their internship.
Before starting an internship, do not forget to do research on your company’s history and current position in the market. Not only does it help you to get more involved to the community, but it also assists you with identifying your upcoming tasks and goals in the organization.
You should also reach out to your supervisors, co-workers, and colleagues during your time at the organization. The more people who know who you are, the easier it will be to get advice when you need help or future references for a full-time job. Conversing with professionals in different fields will broaden your knowledge, open up potential job ideas that you have never come up with and prepare you for you future job interviews. So, network, network, and network!
Step out of your comfort zone and ask questions. Your colleagues are aware that as an inexperienced college student, you are not accustomed to the new position yet. Asking questions shows that you are genuinely interested in the job and are willing to learn from your senior colleagues and supervisors. Also, your boss may see the potentials in you and decide to hire you in the future.
Keep track of your accomplishments by jotting them down in a journal or notebook. They can bring more benefits than you can ever think of. It will be much easier for you to update your resume and portfolio for future job applications. Writing down your accomplishments will also create a reflection of what you have achieved throughout your internship and motivate you to put more efforts into your work.
Feedback can be the best tool for you to discover your strengths and weaknesses. Asking for feedback on a regular basis helps to establish a stronger relationship with your supervisor, who will write the reference in your professional profile.
During your time with the company, treat your internship like a real job. Always bear in mind that what you do contributes to the work of the whole organization. Keep in mind that if you want to be taken seriously, you have to take your job seriously.
If at any point you are not getting “real” work to do, ask your supervisors if there is anything that needs done. Show them that you have an initiative to learn and work.
If you need any help finding an internship, are nervous about an internship, or have any troubles during your internship, you can reach out to Linda Boeckman, who is in charge of Career Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.