An internship is a wonderful opportunity for you to not only gain valuable work experience, but also make an impression on an employer and get a good reference for your CV.
Here are a few steps to make the most out of your internship opportunity:
1) Set Personal Goals
Some internships are structured and have goals in place from the get-go, others don’t, so you will need to set some measurable goals for yourself. These goals can be anything, from what you want to learn while you’re there, to building your business network. Setting unreachable goals will make a good internship feel bad, so make sure your goals are realistic.
2) Make a lasting impression
This is not one action, but rather the sum of a whole bunch of small things. Dress up in appropriate, professional attire. Make sure to be punctual and have excellent attendance. Have respect for general work place decorum and meet your deadlines. Try to keep to whatever expectations your employer has for you.
3) Tackle all of your tasks with an enthusiastic and positive attitude
Due to the nature of an internship, you will most likely be given some grunt work to do. Don’t be shocked to be making coffee or photocopies. But you need to complete all of your work assignment s with the same level of enthusiasm and professionalism as everyone else there.
4) Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Keep in mind that an internship is a learning experience for you. Your employer will expect a certain level of work from, but you are not expected to know everything. Seek advice and ask questions whenever you encounter things that are unfamiliar to you.
5) Find a mentor
Find someone at a higher level in the organization who will look out for you and make sure you’re learning what you need to know and accomplishing what you need to do. A mentor can also shield you from office politics and be a good sounding board for you to bounce ideas off of. A mentor can also help to keep you focused on during your internship and help you learn as much as you can.
6) Enjoy yourself
Most internships are awesome experiences, so make sure you have some fun along the learning journey. Don’t be so uptight that you are seen as something you’re not. Just don’t overdo it, and steer clear of office romances!