Getting the Most Out of Your Internship

Last week, we offered tips for employers to get the most out of their interns. This week, with the start of a new semester upon us, we turn the tables. Below we offer six tips to help you make the most of your internship so you can walk away with a killer resume, on-point interview tips, and an experience worth talking about.

1 Set up informational interviews.

There’s a good chance one of the reasons you’re starting an internship is to explore a new industry and begin to understand what career path you’d like to follow. Take advantage of your new colleagues; they’ll have a lot of experience and advice to share with you. Beyond the tips they can offer from their current position, it’s likely they each have a unique background that led to their current job. Don’t be afraid to go the extra step and ask for an informational interview.

2 Go the extra step.

An intern who takes the extra step makes a big impression. Whether you’re working on a specific project, doing research, or just offering to help out, go a little farther than the assignment requires. You’ll impress the team, you’ll earn higher quality assignments, and you’ll likely learn even more.

3 Ask questions from the start.

Too often, interns will take on a project, tell me they are comfortable with the direction, and then turn in work that isn’t in line with what (I thought) we discussed. When someone briefs you on a project, make sure you ask questions from the start. Take the time up front to fully understand the project. It will demonstrate your dedication and commitment, and it will improve the work you ultimately turn in.

4 But be resourceful.

It’s great to ask questions, but it shouldn’t always be your first action. If you’re having trouble, see if you can find a solution before asking for help. Show the team that you have the skills to do research, weigh the options, and come to a solution on your own. You’ll impress your managers, and you’ll likely be at the top of their list next time they have a project.

5 Speak up.

Bring your knowledge to the table. You’re constantly learning at school, and you have a unique perspective to offer. Don’t be afraid to speak up during meetings or brainstorms; some of our best ideas have come from our interns.

6 Stay in touch.

At the end of the semester, hopefully you’ve learned some new skills, gained invaluable experience, and walked away with an idea of what your future career holds. Most importantly, you’ll have made some great connections in the industry. Be sure to keep in touch with everyone you worked with—your managers and your fellow interns. You never know when you may cross paths again.

We’d love to hear from you! Reach out if you have tips of your own, and if you’re looking for an internship, be sure to keep an eye out for our next opportunity. Good luck in your internship this semester!

Feature image courtesy of Billboard.