Summer internships will be starting very soon. Just in case you’re not prepared for that yet, here’s your pre-summer internship to-do list.
Once you get started and settle into your new work situation, it’s time to be strategic and set yourself up to make the most of the experience. Here are my top three tips for internship success:
- Go above and beyond the call of duty. Hopefully, you will have plenty of work to keep you busy at your internship. Some of that work you might not be super excited to do, like filing or making copies. Do this work without complaint, and treat these tasks with the same respect you show to other more “important” assignments. Sometimes, you’ll complete all of your work and have free time on your hands. Make that time count by looking for more to do and asking others if there is anything you can do to help them. An internship is your opportunity to make a good professional impression and gain as much experience as possible. Approach the entire experience with gusto!
- Network with everyone. One of the greatest benefits of an internship is meeting professionals in your field. You’ll learn the ropes of your future profession from seasoned veterans and maybe even find a mentor. But in the realm of professional relationships, connecting with co-workers NOT directly in your line of work is often overlooked. An important lesson to learn in networking is that anyone could become a valuable contact. Just because you think that a person in a different line of work can be of no help to you professionally, keep in mind that you never know where life may lead you. Get to know a variety of people at your internship and understand that variety is what makes a good network.
- Challenge yourself. Who really wants to push themselves during the summer? Summer is all about relaxing, isn’t it? It could be, but you’re an intern. Challenge yourself to try new things or take on assignments that are a little uncomfortable. By pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will grow personally and professionally. And it’s this kind of growth that makes your internship a great one.
There are many, many more ways to be a successful intern. For more tips, see my Pinterest board, Best Practices for the Workplace.
Photo from Number 17