Whether you’re finishing up an internship or just starting to look for one, there is one thing to keep in mind: no matter what company or industry you choose, an internship provides you with valuable experience in the field and you’re getting the opportunity to work with local professionals. You made it through a couple rounds of interviews and they want to work with you to see what you can do, so here five internship tips so you can make the most of it.
1. Give it your all – even the small tasks!
Everyone knows the interns are sometimes tasked with the jobs no one else wants to do – but that shouldn’t matter to you. Take these tasks with a smile and deliver the best results every time. Really shine and wow them with every little detail — it’ll go farther than you think.
2. Ask questions.
On the job, you’re going to be experiencing new tasks and challenges every day. While you may have some experience in the field from courses at school or previous jobs, it’s okay to be confused and unsure about specific projects. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, they actually want you to. It shows that you are curious about something new and are willing to ask for help in order to do it right the first time around.
3. Make a to-do list.
Some days in the office will be busier than others. You could potentially be involved in multiple projects that are all due around the same time. It’s crazy, it’s stressful, but you can do it! To make sure you never turn in late work, try organizing your tasks with a to-do list. There are a ton of online task managers that are great for keeping you on track with assignments and deadlines. (A good ole post-it note works great, too!)
4. Treat every experience as a learning experience.
Working in an office is a lot different than working in a classroom. You’ll make mistakes, but believe it or not, it’s okay. Internships are a learning experience with new projects and obstacles for you to tackle each and every day, but you’re not expected to go in alone; in fact, your colleagues expect you to ask for help. So ask them! It just shows that you’re willing to improve; willing to hone in on a weakness and turn it into a strength.
5. Get to know your coworkers.
Network, network, network. You’re working in a real office, with real professionals in your desired field, who have real connections in the industry. Now’s the time to make a good impression and get to know everyone you work with. You never know if you might be working there after your internship or if someone has a great connection to help you down the road. Be friendly to everyone, say ‘good morning,’ and take the initiative to start a conversation.
Lastly, enjoy it! Internships are supposed to be fun and exciting experiences. Sometimes the job or the company isn’t what you expected when you first started, but nevertheless, treat it as a valuable opportunity. It’s still an experience you can put on your resume and can speak to in future interviews or classes.