29 Nov Getting the Most Out of Your Internship
So you’ve done it. You were hired as an intern for your dream company … or at least something adjacent to it. You spent weeks crafting your resume, re-working your cover letter, and completing copious amounts of interviews.
But even though you’re excited to get started, a huge question still looms:
You might answer with: “work hard, get remembered, and have them wanting to hire me after graduation.” That’s a great answer, but how exactly does one do this? Although we don’t have the perfect recipe to having your managers going gaga over you, we have compiled a few easy tips you should be following!
1. Be a “yes”-man:
“Can you grab coffee for me?” “Do you want to work on this side project?” “Would you want to sit in on this meeting?” Your answer to every question should be yes. There’s no job too small or menial, so show your managers and fellow co-workers that you’re someone who’s always willing and eager to participate.
2. Get to know your fellow interns:
One of the greatest things I took away from my internship was a group of fellow interns that I can now call friends. Though they weren’t all in my particular department, connecting with them was a great opportunity to 1) have other people around me when I was homesick/stressed/etc. and 2) gain more professional connections in the future. I was ecstatic to make more friends, but the benefits of having future prospects in my industry of choice is great, too.
3. Feedback. Feedback. Feedback.:
If we haven’t made it clear, it’s always a good idea to ask for feedback. We’re all humans, and we all want to feel like we’re being a role model to someone. As such, by asking your fellow co-workers and managers for feedback, you are not only improving your skills, but you’re also leaving a good impression upon your potential future employers.
4. Embrace the culture (or don’t, it’s OK not to fit in):
My dream company was everything I wanted it to be and more. I say “more” because the work culture was fantastic, especially once I embraced it. Make sure the people and things going on around you are what you are looking for in a company. If it is, take it in. Ironically, your co-workers and managers will notice you as standing out if you “blend in” with the staff. If it isn’t something you can relate to, it’s OK — just make sure that you’re still having a good time there. If not, reconsider your options.
Even though I made great friends and connections, the biggest takeaway for me was to focus. You were hired to work, and your goal is (most of the time) to be hired/get an employer referral after graduation. So make sure to put 100 percent in everything that you do. We said to be a “yes”-man a bit earlier, but make sure to say “maybe later” every now-and-then. Especially when your intern friends want to explore the city while you’re trying to finish your assigned project.
6. Send a “thank you” note:
This is cheesy, but the last day at my internship (besides crying), I gave a thank you note to both of my managers and two of the employees who had the biggest impact on me. In a digital world, a printed letter leaves a lasting impression, sloppy handwriting or not. A thank you note is a small act of appreciation that warms the heart and also allows your managers to see how grateful you are, and how one day, you could impact them on a full-time basis.
Written By: Saavon Smalls