Helpful Tips for Interns
10 Tips for a Successful Internship
A successful internship can launch your career. That is why it is so important to use this opportunity to its fullest. Here are some tips we compiled to help you make the most out of your internship.
1. Do your homework.
Research the company, its history and unique brand before you start. The company’s website can provide a lot of information that will help you look knowledgeable and feel more confident on day one. You can also email your future supervisor to see if there is any extra reading you can do ahead of time.
2. Know what to expect.
Clarify expectations about the internship and what you’ll be doing. Knowing what the job involves will help you prepare for the experience. It is a good idea to ask for your job responsibilities in writing.
3. Make your first impression count.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make good eye contact, shake hands confidently and smile when you are introduced to members of the organization. Maintain professional behavior in the way you dress, behave, speak, and write. Be courteous, punctual, and remember to say thank you.
4. Treat it like a real job.
Take your internship seriously as if it were a real job. As an intern, it’s likely that you won’t be doing very complicated work. Do a great job even when you’re handed boring tasks. The work you do will still have an impact on the company at some level. Eventually, someone may let you try something more interesting or more difficult.
5. Be observant and ask questions.
You are not expected to connect all of the dots on the first week on the job. However, it is important to listen, observe, take notes, and ask a lot of questions at the very beginning, so you can learn your job quickly. If you make a mistake, don’t try to cover it up or make excuses. Maintain trust by telling your supervisor, fixing it, and not letting it happen again.
6. Establish good relationships with your coworkers.
Interning is a great opportunity to meet new people you might never have the opportunity to meet otherwise. It’s good to talk with your coworkers about your career plans and let them know you’re open to their advice. Ask them about their own career path. Always be mindful to keep conversations professional – avoid gossiping, complaining or discussing personal matters at work.
7. Ask for feedback.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. This shows your supervisor that you take your work seriously and are eager to do whatever it takes to do your job well. Knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are will enable you to work on them.
8. Stay off social media and your cell phone.
Unless on a break or lunchtime, save personal texting and social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.) for time away from the office. Your supervisor expects you to remain focused while at work. Although you may feel it won’t affect your work, your supervisor may think differently.
9. Find a mentor.
Seek out a possible mentor from top performers in the company or industry. A suitable mentor will be proud to talk about his/her accomplishments and willing to share their expertise with you and offer guidance. While helping support your career goals, your mentor will become a more valued employee and enjoy making a difference in your life. It’s a win-win situation!
10. Keep track of your projects.
Maintain a list of the projects you are working on during your internship. This will come in handy when you meet with your supervisor to discuss your progress. After your internship, reflect on the skills you’ve gained and update your resume with your experiences and accomplishments.