Make the Most of Your Internship

Make the Most of Your Internship

student posing in front of cityscape

Now that you’ve secured your internship, ensure that you are making the opportunity as successful as possible.

Set personal goals. With the help of a career counselor, faculty member, or employer, outline realistic goals you would like to accomplish or skills you would like to acquire. Setting intentions before beginning your internship will likely lead to a greater sense of accomplishment as you attain your goals and develop new skills. Take notes throughout your experience, revisit your goals regularly, and sum-up and evaluate your experiences after completing the internship.

Meet regularly with your supervisor. Revisit your goals and learning objectives together, ask for feedback, and offer it as well. In some cases, in which your supervisor is extremely busy or travels a lot, you may need to take the lead in scheduling regular meetings.

Ask questions and take initiative. Show interest in what your supervisors and co-workers are doing, and don't hesitate to take on another task or two. Your enthusiasm for learning more about the business will likely be met with positive reinforcement.

Stay positive and enthusiastic no matter the task. You may occasionally be given work that is repetitive or beneath your level of capability, such as fetching coffee or making photocopies. The key is to maintain the same level of enthusiasm and professionalism no matter what you are asked to do.

Look to the future. There is always the potential for your internship experience with a particular employer to lead to a future employment opportunity. Think of your internship as a long-term interview. In essence, during your internship, you are interviewing the employer and trying out the career choice, and the employer and others are observing you in the workplace.

Network within the organization. Learn your way around the people and the place, and take in as much as possible about the organizational culture. Get to know your co-workers and show interest in their roles within the company or organization. Make the most of every network opportunity and every position.