Internships are a beautiful thing – not only do they help you gain invaluable real-world experience, but they also help employers search through individuals for those hard-workers that could prove to be a good fit within their company.
Interning is a great way to be able to learn more about a specific field that you are interested in, and if it’s the right path for you! And in some instances, these internships can turn into a full-time position! Although not always a guarantee, we have some tips for you to make the best of your time there, and what you can do to help you let your employers know that you’d be the best candidate for their next job opening!
Treat the internship like a real job
Even though you might be doing it for school credit, or perhaps it is an unpaid internship, you must always treat it like it is your actual career, and put 110% into everything you do. Dress sharp, arrive on time, have a professional can-do attitude, take initiative and show the company that you are a serious, hard-working individual who is exceptional!
This tip might sound cliché by now in terms of job searching, but it can never be stressed enough! Learn all you can about the company and how it works while you are there. Don’t be afraid – it shows willingness to learn and that you have a genuine interest in the position! And don’t forget to ask for feedback, so you can understand where you are doing great and where you might need more work. This can help you set personal and professional goals for yourself!
Go beyond what’s asked of you – ask for additional tasks! Prove that you have impressive time management skills and not only have you done what they’ve asked (and done it well!) but that you are eager to gain more responsibility and learn from more challenging tasks. Note that the more difficult tasks do come with time, so in the beginning, make sure to greet the more tedious mundane responsibilities with great enthusiasm to show that you have an excellent attitude and patience.
Develop Your Skills – and keep track of them!
The whole reason of being in an internship is to learn all about the subject you are interested in, while gaining skills and bettering your existing ones, right? Exactly! Be sure to hone your current talents, and don’t hesitate to tackle jobs that are unfamiliar – they’ll help you develop new ones! Learn a new program you’re unfamiliar with, go ahead! It’s also important to keep track of all your accomplishments – all these skill sets are desirable and will impress hiring employers in the future!
Network, network, network. Attend professional meet-ups and maintain contacts with other people in the industry. Professional relationships are key – they help you learn of new opportunities and how to advance in your field. Make sure to really develop strong relationships with your supervisor and co-workers as well, so that they can strengthen your networking circle and can help you learn what it takes to be successful, and how to accomplish your goals. Keep yourself in the loop of important going-ons and news in your career field.
Express Your Appreciation
Whenever the internship is finished, don’t forget to thank them and let them know how grateful you are that you were able to work with them and gain so many skills. Be sure to let them know how much you really love the company as well, and most importantly, keep in touch. Just because they might not have a full-time position open for you now, does not mean that something will not open in the near future! Stay in contact with your supervisor and co-workers, and in turn they will remember your enthusiasm, and you will pop into their head first whenever they have a spot available!
MaryEllen Fenton | Strike-Jobs.co.uk Journalist