Internships are becoming more important for college students who are looking to break into their career field. You never know what doors these experiences can open. Internships are the opportunity to build your resume and professional network. Make a strong impression during your limited time with a company by following these tips to being the best intern you can be:
Work Hard AND Smart
Starting day one, build a reputation for being dependable. Accept your assignments without complaint and when those are completed show initiative by then asking for more work. When given instructions listen carefully and ask for clarification in order to turn out quality work. Even menial tasks can teach you a lot on how an office works.
Ask for Feedback
Meet regularly with your supervisor throughout your entire internship. These meetings keep everyone on track with your current task list and how your skills are progressing. Establishing open dialogue to learn what you’re doing right and what you could improve on. Internships are the time for growth and knowing what to focus on will help you get the most out of this experience.
You can learn a lot from the professionals that you work with at your internship. Focus on making strong connections with 1 or 2 of your coworkers because quality references are more important than quantity. Be friendly, polite and helpful when talking with them professionally, and personally. But be aware of gossiping, it can get you in trouble!
Document Your Work
Throughout your internship take the time to keep records of all your tasks. These samples of your completed work builds your resume and gives you a competitive edge. Record the purpose of your tasks, how you contributed to the overall project and the impact it made for the company. Then you can look back at the end of the internship to see all the work you accomplished. Also, if you are doing the internship for credit you may have to record your daily activities as part of your grade. No matter the motive, it is a good habit to get into.
Other quick tips for success:
- Arrive on time
- Dress professionally
- Participate in work social events
- Limit your phone time
- Avoid missing work
- Stay in contact with coworkers after your end date
What is your best advice for interns looking to gain quality experiences? Share in the comments below!
By: Rebecca Clausen