Making the Most of Your Internship Experience
So, you finally landed that internship you’ve been working so hard to get. You have done the hard part by getting the offer – now it’s time to actually start the job! Here are some tips I’ve learned on how to make the most of it.
Ask questions and be curious
Asking questions is crucial to optimize your learning during your internship. Employees understand you are an intern and are there to grow and learn. They except you to not know what you are doing at first, so don’t feel like you are being bothersome or asking to many questions. There is no such thing as a dumb question! Take advantage of your time and ask all the questions.
There will be moments during your internship where you don’t have much to do or are having to wait on people to complete something. Take this time to take initiative and show people how active and willing to learn you are. This skill is something employers look for and is a great time to put into practice.
Communicate with your manager
I’ve learned how important this is during my last internship. I found that the project I was working on was not what I wanted to do or what I wanted to learn. I learned that it never hurts to speak up and say something. I was able to communicate with my manager about what I wanted out of this experience, and she was happy to work with me on a new project.
Connect with other employees
Not only are you there to work, but you are there to learn about the company and see if it would be a good fit for your future. The best way to learn about the company is talking to its people! Set up coffee chats, talk with people in roles you want to learn about, and take advantage of being an intern. Learn about the pros and cons of the company, how people like living in that location, and what made them chose to work there.
Learn what you want in a full-time role
As a rising senior, it has been important for me to learn about what I want in a full-time role. What would be salary be? What are the benefits? Is there room for career growth? Promotions? Ask about entry level roles, company structure-- everything! This is a great way to learn about what you like and don’t like so you can take it into your full-time job search later.
However you chose to spend your internship experience, make the most of this learning opportunity! Even if it doesn’t turn out how you hoped it would, it’s a great resume builder and opportunity to learn about what to look for next.
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