When you started your undergraduate studies, people probably told you that you needed to get an internship if you wanted to secure a job after graduation.
Although there is no absolute guarantee that this will happen, studies show that your chances of landing a job after an internship get considerably higher.
For example, 2017 research conducted by NACE involving liberal arts graduates has indicated that those who participated in multiple internships as undergraduates had higher odds of being employed within the first six months after graduation.
That being said, the success of your internship and the chances of getting a job after it depends entirely on your efforts. If you fail to use the time you spend as an intern to your advantage, you can hardly expect any benefits from your internship.
So, today, we’re taking a look at a few tips that will help you get the most out of your internship both for your professional development and for your future career goals.
1. Set Goals for Your Upcoming Internship
Before your internship starts, it is important to consider your objectives. These objectives will help you get into the right mindset for your internship and help you remain focused throughout.
For instance, if you’re taking an internship at a foreign language learning school where you will help English-speaking students learn Italian, you can set the following goals:
- Learn how to build a lesson plan
- Gain access to and learn how to manage resources for language learning
- Discover innovative teaching methodologies
If you want to get the most out of your internship for your future career, you need to go into this experience knowing what to expect from yourself, which skills you are planning to acquire, and how you can apply them to get the job you want.
2. Request a Mentor and Develop Connections
Some students start internships specifically to get to know more people from the industry and develop strong relationships with them. However, making new connections should be on every intern’s list of goals, regardless of the type of internship you’re starting.
But how can you develop these strong connections during your internship?
Here are a few useful tips:
- Always ask for feedback. No matter whether it’s your supervisor or your colleagues, always ask them to comment on the results of your work. You can do this at the end of every workday, week, or project completion, but make sure you do it on a regular basis.
- Participate in corporate events. If you want to become a part of the company, you need to act like it. This includes participating in any work-sponsored events such as work happy hours or company picnics. This will give you the chance to connect with your coworkers in a more relaxed environment.
- Stay connected after your internship is over. If you want your connections to last, make sure you invest time and effort in maintaining them even after your internship ends.
Another important factor that impacts the success of every internship is the presence of a strong mentor. Unfortunately, students often make a deadly sin when choosing an internship without a mentor. Mentors help guide you through the entire internship process from explaining how everything works within the company and the industry to providing valuable feedback at the end of the internship.
So, make sure that asking for a mentor is the first thing you do as soon as you get your internship. If you want to get the most out of your internship, you need to learn from a person who has a lot of experience in the industry. Besides, your interest in working with a mentor will show your readiness to learn and improve your skills.
3. Keep Yourself Busy
Needless to say that, in order to get as many benefits as possible from your internship, you need to work hard. Especially if you expect to stay and work for the company, you need to show that you’re up for any challenge.
So, make sure you keep yourself busy. And if you see that there’s not much for you to contribute, try to do the following:
- Talk to your mentor. Share which new skills you would like to learn and ask for their guidance. Your mentor will select tasks that will help you get new knowledge and skills, and apply them right away.
- Help your colleagues. Don’t be afraid to come to your colleagues and offer your help if you see them struggling. It will also strengthen your relationships with them.
- Share ideas with the boss. If you have revolutionary ideas that you think the company can benefit from, try talking to your boss and share your thoughts. Even if they don’t accept your suggestions, they will still appreciate your readiness to contribute to the company’s growth.
Also, at the end of the day, make sure you reflect on every task you’ve completed, which skills you developed, and the new things you’ve learned. Also, self-reflect on what else you can do to improve your experience as an intern. This simple exercise will help you better understand your achievements and how to present them on future resumes.
Applying for and accepting an internship position is still a valuable career move for college students. But in order to get the most out of any internship, you must demonstrate your abilities and put in the work.
Hopefully these tips will help you reap all the career and personal benefits of your internship.
About Kate Khom: Kate is a passionate writer who likes sharing her thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, she works as an online reputation manager. You can check out her work here. She likes everything related to traveling and new countries.