If you are a college student, you know the words “summer break” is hardly a break. While, sure, you may not be spending your days in class, study sessions, and under piles of homework, there is a much larger (and dare I say, daunting) way you’ll be spending your time: interning.
Having a summer internship takes all those things you learned in the classroom and requires you to put them into practice, often for the first time. It is an invaluable way to learn, building your resume, gain experience in the industry, and get your foot in the door. However, landing a summer internship is just the beginning. It’s what you do after that means the most. You need to remember that an internship is not just a little side job or fun summer activity. It is important to treat it as a real job to get the most out of the experience (and hopefully translate it into one of an actual real jobs).
As you start to get yourself prepared to transition from student to intern, here five tips on how to get the most out of your summer internship:
Tip #1: Do your homework. I am sorry to tell you that during the summer you still need to do your homework. In order to be successful as an intern, you must know the company you intern for. That means having a general idea of their image, reputation, history, culture, and current events. (Photo via @amandaskrabucha)
Tip #2: Gain trust early on. Actually show that you care about what you do. Pay attention to detail, follow instructions, be proactive, ask thoughtful questions, and ensure that the quality of your work is always the highest possible. (Photo via @velvetnvinyl)
Tip #3: Never ever think you are too good for something. Even if you are given a boring or easy task you don’t want to do, don’t let your attitude takeover. Go in with the mindset that no task is too big or too small. Do the work the best you can because once you will get through this stage, it is more likely you will be perceived as a reliable person and receive more interesting and challenging tasks. (Photo via @jenvpetrova)
Tip #4: Always ask questions. The worst thing you can do is to guess what you should do. If you are not sure what you are doing, always ask. Remember that you are there to learn and no one expects from you knowing everything. There is a difference between asking a thoughtful question and expecting to be spoon-fed the answer. Do your research, try to find the answer yourself, and if you can’t, it’s okay to clarify any misunderstandings or concerns to avoid putting you in a spot of doing something wrong and save you time. (Photo via @taylormackenzieh)
Tip #5: Ask for feedback. Once you are done with a task or after a few weeks, ask your supervisors for feedback. Knowing what you could do better or work on more is a great hint to help you improve your skills, set your goals, and grow as a person. (Photo via @berrytrendy)
Any tips you picked up in your previous internships? Help your peers out! Let them know in the comments below so they have a step above the rest as we head into internship season. And if you are still looking for a summer internship, may we suggest this great one…