Congrats! You’ve just landed the summer internship of your dreams!
Though don’t be too quick to sit back and relax – the journey to your dream career is only just beginning.
Internships are a fantastic way to put the skills you’ve learned in the classroom into good use. An internship will boost your CV, give you the chance to build lasting professional connections, and could potentially lead you into an incredible full-time job offer.
If you’re hoping to get the foot firmly in the door of your chosen industry, you need to do everything in your power to stand out and make a lasting impression. So how do you do it?
- Do your research.
This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the number of interns who show up to their new role knowing very little about the company they are interning for. Be sure to clue-up on the company’s key elements and culture, as this will not only impress your employer, but it will make you feel more confident and able to join in on conversations in the office. Showing that you are genuinely interested in the role is key.
- Network, network, network.
One of the most valuable aspects of an internship is the fact that you get the chance to build lasting connections with professionals in your industry. Make the effort to get to know people and learn from them. These individuals will see first-hand how you work and what you are capable of, and so can be the ones to support you on your way to landing a full-time role.
- Become a real member of the team.
If there is one thing you should avoid, it is treating your internship like an internship. If you want to be taken seriously, you must take the job seriously as if it were a real, full-time role. The most important thing to understand is that your contributions to the company will have an effect on other people – therefore, your mistakes will too.
- Challenge yourself.
An internship is your greatest opportunity to develop as a professional individual and step out of your comfort zone – and although it may seem like a daunting prospect, it’s the best way to learn. This will ultimately enrich your professional portfolio.
- Approach tasks with optimism and enthusiasm.
Whether you are asked to take on a big project or are simply asked to make photo-copies, get coffee or do other menial work – you should approach each and every task with optimism and enthusiasm. This way, your employer will begin to put their trust in you and will want to remember your name.
- Ask questions.
Never be afraid to ask questions about something you’re unsure of. Your employer will be more than willing to take the time to explain something in detail to avoid mistakes being made. Just be sure to listen carefully when a process is being explained, to prevent someone having to explain themselves repeatedly.
- Ask for feedback.
One of the best chances to learn during an internship arises from receiving feedback. It is likely that you will receive some form of formal feedback when your internship comes to an end, however don’t be afraid to ask for more regular feedback. For example, if you complete a big task, ask your employer how they think you did, what you could have done better, etc. Be prepared to take constructive criticism on board – your willingness to continually learn and improve will always impress your employer.
****For this excellent post, Campus to Career thanks Katy Mairs!!****
About the author: Katy Mairs is blog editor at Unibaggage.com – the No.1 Student Shipping Company.