How to Get the Most Out of an Internship

get the most out of an internship

Congratulations if you recently landed an internship role. University students and fresh graduates usually see internships as post-college work they must endure for the next step. An internship is much more than that; it provides you with different benefits and opportunities. Internships can sometimes lead to the discovery of a new career path that is a good fit for you. You can also learn how to be more confident in a professional setting. But, if you are just putting up with the internship and counting down the days until it ends, you may not gain anything. In this article, we will talk about how to get the most out of an internship. 

Tips on how to get the most out of an internship

Here are some tips you need to follow to get the most out of an internship.

Develop good workplace practices.

An internship may be your first exposure to how an office operates, so make the most of it. To start with, you must ensure that you take punctuality seriously. It is a clear sign of disrespect and unseriousness if your superior gets to work before you. When you show up early, you are showing yourself as a reliable and committed individual. Besides, you should ensure you attend all the meetings and events you are invited to. This will help expose you to the knowledge of what goes on in office meetings. You should also keep track of the basic tools used in the meetings. Try to understand all the industry buzzwords mentioned in the meetings as well. Understanding the industry’s buzzword can help you write excellent cover letters. Besides, it also helps you sound like a professional during job interviews.

Widen your knowledge.

Another thing to do to get the most out of an internship is to widen your knowledge. Take time to learn the ins and outs of the industry you are interning in. This will give you the chance to understand the various job opportunities  available in that industry. Besides, the fact that you are working in the sales department does not mean you should stick to that department. When you are less busy, you can visit the programming department to see how things work there. Try and understand how their work is different from yours and what the connection between both departments is.

You should also widen your knowledge about the company you are interning at. Understand their culture, values, mission, and others. Observe the top staff in the company and check out the qualities they have. Also, observe the work environment and see if it is where you would like to work or if there is something that needs to be changed. All these can help you form answers to some interview questions when you go for an interview.

Build up your skills. 

You are rather taught theory when you are in school, the internship period is a time to build up your skills. Therefore, to get the most out of an internship, you need to be ready to work on your skills. Sometimes, you will be given tedious tasks that the staff doesn’t want to do, make sure you take up the task with the mindset of learning something new. Even if your task is just to create a schedule, it is something you might not have done in a professional setting before, so make the most of it. Learn from your mistakes and build on your strength.

Take note of your activities.

No matter how small or irrelevant your daily task or activity is, make sure you put it down in a journal. For instance, if you learn how to use new software on Monday, jot it down. If you make a presentation at a staff meeting, jot it down as well. All these can serve as key points for when you are writing a cover letter. 

Ask relevant questions.

Being an intern means you are not a full-fledged employee of the company; this might hinder you from getting access to great and exciting projects. However, do not let that deter you. To get the most out of an internship, you should ask relevant questions. If you could not work on an exciting project because of your status, you should ask questions about it. Besides, they do not expect you to know everything. So when you are confused, ask questions to clear your confusion. Furthermore, you should not be afraid to ask for feedback about your performance from your colleagues or superiors. Incorporating feedback can help you become a better person professionally. Inasmuch as most of us hate criticism, it is better to get criticism as an intern when you can improve yourself than being fired at a full-time job because you lack some qualities.

Build professional relationships.

Another way to get the most out of an internship is to build a professional relationship. Professional relationships are another name for networking, and these can help you go a long way in life. Build a connection with your fellow interns at the company. Besides, you can expand your circle and build relationships with other staff. Furthermore, you can find yourself a mentor. Having a good mentor determines how far you will go in life. So, if you see someone among the staff with good qualities, you can walk up to them to ask for career advice. 

Give the internship your best.

Finally, you should give the internship your best to get the most out of it. Ask your manager or supervisor what they expect from you and live up to expectations. Besides, if you have finished your assigned task, volunteer to take on more duties. Don’t just sit idle at your desk or play around on your phone; this shows a sign of non-commitment. 

Final Thoughts

So, these are the tips on how to get the most out of an internship. Sometimes, if the company likes the qualities you have, they might employ you as full-time staff. However, even if you are not retained after your internship is over, with the things you have learned, it is only a matter of time before you land your dream job.


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