5 ways to survive your summer internship
As you near the end of college, there is one thing on almost every student’s mind: internships. Securing an internship is a crucial first step on the path to adulthood, and like you, most students find themselves actively looking for these opportunities at the end of the school year. Although there is no shortage of advertisements for these summer positions, the descriptions often do not tell you how to make the most of your internship once you start. Fortunately, we’ve accumulated a few pointers to help. Follow the tips below to maximize your internship experience!
You are not expected to know everything right away—and your employer knows that. Coming into what is potentially your first real job there may be an expectation you put on yourself that you can’t make a mistake. That narrative is extremely off-base. Although you don’t want to be constantly messing up at work, it is ok (and normal) to make mistakes as you are learning the ropes of the company. Ask your manager or other co-workers for help if you need it, and remember this is a learning experience for you.
2. Work hard
It never hurts to be a workhorse, especially around your office. As an intern, you are going to be expected to do most of the grunt work around the workplace, so take pride in whatever it is you are doing and do it to the best of your ability. If you know you have a busy schedule ahead of you but still need to complete small, everyday tasks, come in early and get them done. It shows good character! Plus, you’ll have more time to focus on bigger projects with fewer interruptions.
3. Ask for more work
Oftentimes during the course of your internship, you will find yourself with extra time on your hands. ASK FOR WORK. I promise you there are things for you to be doing and projects you can be assisting with—you just need to ask for those opportunities. Also, take it upon yourself to do what isn’t asked of you and go that extra mile. It will help fill up your schedule and look very impressive to your employer.
4. Expand your network
Something to keep in mind when you’re going into any job is that the relationships you forge in the workplace are very important. You never know who you are going to meet and how they may help you in the future. Adding your co-workers on LinkedIn is a good first step in expanding your network. Another, more fun way of building relationships is by participating in office activities outside of work. This will allow you to better connect with the people you work with and can even make your nine-to-five much more enjoyable.
5. Learn as much as you can
Like I mentioned, this could be your first taste of a real job, so relax and use every day as an opportunity to learn something new, whether that something is related to your specific field or not. You never know how your career is going to change and it is best to have a broad skill set. Most people don’t end up staying at one job their entire life, so take what you learn from each place and apply it to your next one. You never know when something is going to come in handy.
What tips do you have from working past internships? Share them with us in the comments section below!