Summer time is internship time. Thousands of college students are out there getting ready to do their summer internships. This is a critical time to get that experience and networking exposure that could pay big dividends in the form of a full time gig sometime in the near future. If you want to learn how to maximize your internship, read on to find out how to do it.
1. Have a goal of what you want to learn
Having a clear head about your internship objectives will make the experience better. Are you trying to figure out if you like the field? Are you wanting to learn a new skill? Trying to pad your resume? If you want to maximize your internship you are going to have to write down your objectives.
2. Do not segregate yourself
What that means, is do not separate yourself from the regular work population by just hanging out with other interns. Make it a point to network with regular employees. It might be uncomfortable to hang out with older people, but they are the ones who can really help your career. Resist the urge of just hanging out with your peer group the whole time.
3. Take it seriously
A lot of internships are simply dress rehearsals for the real thing. If you want to be taken seriously, then you have to act serious, and take the work serious. If you make a mistake, do not brush it off. Take responsibility for it and do what you can to fix it.
4. Pay attention to how things work
Go into sponge mode and absorb everything around you. Organizations are filled with little nuances that clue you in on how stuff works. Ask if you can attend meetings and functions that you might not otherwise get the chance to. This will help you get a feel for the work world that you are going to spend the next 40 years in.
5. Ask for feedback from management
Knowing what your strengths and weaknesses moving forward is key. Ask your manager for feedback on your performance. Do so in the form of asking for advice.
6. Learn from co-workers
Ask a lot of questions from co workers who you see as successful. Ask them about their career trajectory, how they got into the field, and what things they did to be successful. You will find that the vast majority will willingly share with you the things they did to be successful. And best of all, they may want to help you get your big break.
7. Ask for advice
Talk to people about your future plans, and ask for advice. Be careful that you only ask advice of those who are successful.
8. Be thankful
One of the biggest things you can do is thank the people who have helped you. Write a thank you card as well as thanking them verbally. Take the time to show your gratitude, and they may want to go out of their way again for you in the future.