Considering today’s volatile job market, gaining a place on a summer internship or a year-long placement programme is a great way to gain experience in your field plus get noticed at your dream company. Some students may also choose to take an internship position in order to test their interest in a certain industry or role.
Summer is just round the corner (in theory) which means that now (if you haven’t done so already) is the time to start the hunt for a summer internship. Landing the ideal internship is just the beginning; here’s how to make the most of your experience.
Bring a notepad everywhere you go Invest in a good notepad, take it with you and use it, all the time! An ability to take notes in meetings and during one-to-ones shows that you are engaged with the meeting content and keeping a record of what you have done will help you track your experience.
Take the initiative Even if you have finished your assigned projects or pieces of work, it is guaranteed that there will be other work that you can help with and get involved in. If you don’t feel comfortable asking your boss, ask a colleague in the same department, or even in a different department if you are looking to further your experience.
Don’t stand out…too much Some students go into an internship seeing it as an opportunity to showcase their talent and, of course to a certain extent it is. However employers are more likely to be impressed with an intern that delivers consistently good results. Other employers may be looking for someone who fits the company culture. So make sure that if you do stand out, it’s for the right reasons.
Take a break Find the break room, coffee machine or lunch room and make sure you use it from time to time. You never know when your boss or another colleague will stop by. Try not to be intimidated and say hello. There are many resources to suggest that you will learn from as much from casual conversations as from formal meetings.
Say thank you If a colleague or your boss has taken time out to help you, give a sincere thank you. If your team feels appreciated, they will be more likely to help you in the future.