7 Ways To Get The Most Out Of An Internship
Internships are the ultimate work-learning experience and are growing in number each year, offering more and more budding interns the chance to work in their chosen field and learn more about it, helping them to progress in the very first stages of their working life – you can search for internships here.
However, some internships can be more rewarding then others and interns can struggle with feeling like they aren’t getting the most out of their internship. With that in mind, here are 7 ways that you can make sure you are getting the most out of an internship.
7) Learning As Much As Possible
Aside from working, you should look at an internship as the ultimate learning curve as there are very few opportunities which will grant you the freedom to learn as much as you potentially can from an internship, without being totally side-lined by having to work.
Take advantage of the environment you are in and also the fact that at first, little value might actually be placed on you whilst you are in your internship, but you should see this as an opportunity to take advantage of being in the workplace and having some more freedom to explore your new environment and how it works, providing you complete all work assigned to you first of course.
The best way to do this is by talking to people and asking questions, but just be wary about who and what you ask, this isn’t an excuse to walk up to the CEO and introduce yourself then inquire about future opportunities! You might think that displays eagerness and initiative, but it really isn’t worth losing your internship over.
6) Get As Much Job Experience As You Can
Aside from trying to learn as much as you possibly can, you should also try to work as hard as possible, as the feedback you will get about your performance will be invaluable to you progressing from an intern to a full-time employee either in this workplace or another.
Trying to branch out and work in other areas can be a good way to get more experience, yet this comes down to how you manage your own workload, and depending on what your internship entails you might find your work options rather limited or have far too much to focus on with one thing to be able to branch out and work elsewhere.
If this does happen to you, then there isn’t that much you can do other then try to work around your workload or finish it as fast as possible, unfortunately. But if you can take the chance to branch out and work on different things, different areas, and with different people, this is a great way of getting more job experience.
5) Test Yourself And Track Your Progress
Internships are not just about getting additional or new experiences and skills. You can use them as a platform and opportunity for self-assessment and personal growth tracking.
Knowing what you are good and bad at before you start is always helpful, but even if you don’t know what your potential underlying strengths and weaknesses are, tracking your progress, performance, and feedback you hear is vital in staying ahead of yourself.
You don’t have to get super technical with this, it can be as simple as keeping a work diary and writing down what happens each day you’re there, then reviewing your self-report at the end of each week and looking back for analysis.
What you should do with the data is use it as an opportunity to push yourself, either in directions you think you show more weakness, or to keep testing out the limits of the things you are stronger at and aim for even better results, or just try to be consistent across the board.
4)Make An Effort To Impress
When you successfully complete your internship, you want to hear praise and recognition from as many people as possible, however formal or informal that might be.
Making an effort to impress is not just about working hard, anyone can work hard at a task they’re given and get results with enough effort, but the key to standing out is displaying initiative and thinking outside the box to get better results.
How you come across as a person outside of the work you do is also worth thinking about. Be polite, smile and put yourself out there in order to make the best impression possible, you never know what the difference-maker will be when it comes to an internship being extended into full-time employment.
3) Take Advantage Of Company Resources
No matter the size of the company you intern at, there will always be resources at their disposal which can either assist you with completing your work, increase your learning potential, or just make day-to-day life that little bit easier.
Resources can be anything from commute to work schemes, open working areas, nap pods, massive databases, training modules or just a friendly office dog you can pet if you feel stressed.
It is important that if you aren’t sure what resources are available to you at your internship you ask either before, or as soon after you have started as possible, otherwise, you will just end up wasting valuable time that you could have saved.
2) Make The Most Of Additional Opportunities
On a similar topic to resources, additional opportunities at work for interns are invaluable for development, relationship building (at work), and progression into a full-time role, but accessing them can be a little more restrictive.
Again, it pays to find out in advance or as soon after you have started as possible what some of these might be in-house, and depending on the size of the company you intern at obviously, there will be more or fewer opportunities for you to take up to help improve (not every company has built-in intern development schemes like Google or Amazon).
To clarify, an opportunity could be an invitation to tag along to a site inspection or client visit or, it might be something a little less formal like being invited out for lunch or post-work drinks by other employees or management. No matter what the size or shape of it, you should always look to exploit opportunities like this for the most important, and final point in this article.
1)Make Connections For The Future
Networking is nowadays not even optional for most people looking to step into or make advances in their career pathway, and internships are no different.
Build up your relationships with the people you work under or with. Get to know them, find out what directions they want to go in, what mistakes they have made in their own careers when they started out. Discover secrets about the company, and industry, that you are interning for and tricks to help you get hired after your internship is complete.
Even if the end of your internship is where your future with the company you intern at ends, it doesn’t mean the end of your future working, and if you want to be successful in any field then it pays to have as many connections and friends to go to for advice, help, or work along the way as possible.
The people you make connections with at your internship might not always be there and might end up moving on to bigger, and better things, and if they liked you well enough at the time they could even consider taking you with them, if not hiring you at some point further down the line.