summer internship

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Internship

Lucy Lynch

The summer internship – it’s a memorable career experience for college students. For many of students, a summer internship is their first experience working in a corporate setting, learning the ins and outs of how companies and organizations are formed and managed. While exciting and a great opportunity, internships can be daunting because there is a heightened level of responsibility and much to be learned.

Here are some tips to help you benefit from your summer internship:

Show interest

On the surface, this sounds like something more related to job interviews and applying to college. Now that you have the job, however, it is still important to show your eagerness to work. It reminds the people who hired you why they hired you and it is a quality that reflects well in any job position. People want to work with interesting and driven people and an internship is a great time to show professionals your personality and work ethic.

Ask Questions

It is important to consider that internships are intended to be a learning opportunity – practice for a future career. Interns won’t have all the answers, nor are they expected to have them. Ask your boss clarification questions, to repeat directions, and be honest when you are completely confused or having difficulty with a task.

Network

Networking has truly become a buzzword in the 21st century, and one college students have become used to hearing because it’s important. In addition to connecting with colleagues, attend company and industry events to meet more people who work in fields you’re interested in. Outside your internship, use apps like LinkedIn to network with other professionals whose line of work interests you – these informational interviews can be influential in guiding your career path as they help you form meaningful connections.

Get outside your comfort zone and try new things

Some internships have strict job responsibilities that don’t allow for much variation in daily tasks. However, if you are in a position that allows for assisting in projects you are unfamiliar with, try them. You may end up falling in love with a field of work you didn’t know about or had just assumed you didn’t like. Moreover, they provide you with additional skills that can be useful in future interviews and job opportunities.

Take time to get to know your co-workers

This advice is similar to the aforementioned networking and showing interest. Contribute to and embrace your company’s culture by being not only respectful, but also friendly to your colleagues. Work will be a happier place when you take a genuine interest in someone’s day, weekend, and life and general; the effort you put in will be reciprocated.

Improve your multitasking skills

Multitasking, flexibility, adaptability – however you want to put it – is key in an internship. Much like the people around you, you will often find yourself busy with several tasks at a time. It is crucial to remain organized with your work but also be ready to adapt when a more important project arises. Prove that you can handle these different assignments and prioritize your tasks throughout the day.

Reflect

Reflection is embodied in most of the other topics on this list. You will want to reflect on your internship throughout your time working and especially when it concludes. Did you like your job? The company culture? Did it provide direction for your future career, or eliminate a career possibility you had previously considered? As stated earlier, internships are intended as learning experience, so make note of what you learned and how it will impact your future.

Every internship is different, but these tips will help you succeed this summer as you take on this exciting job opportunity.

Have other internship tips you’d like to mention? Share them with us @kununu_US!