The latest statistics tell us that 85 percent of college students do an internship during their school years. They learn more about their chosen industry while actually getting some hands-on experience, and the employer gets an eager and intelligent employee for the summer. While the position is temporary, there are ways for the wise intern to stand out from others.
First and foremost, enjoy yourself!
Ask "What’s the Goal?"
Deciding before the internship starts what is important will make the internship more meaningful. If a goal is set to learn a new skill or build a larger network, there is a sense of accomplishment when that goal is realized.
Talk to your Supervisor
Keep in mind that some supervisors don’t talk much or only when they need to, and some are so busy it’s hard to keep up with them. However, a short meeting every couple of weeks to get feedback and share experiences should be scheduled. This should not be a gripe session, and you will do yourself a favor by spending more time listening because you will learn more.
It’s all About P.M.A.
Positive Mental Attitude is extremely important. No one wants to work with someone who is always grumpy and negative. Be enthusiastic and positive no matter what. If there is a problem, dig in and figure out how to fix it. Bite your tongue till it’s bloody if necessary, but do not utter a complaint about anything. You really have not earned that right yet.
Network, Network, Network
Besides learning about the company and the technical aspects of the job, it is also a great opportunity to network with people in the industry. You will meet those who work at your office, and you may talk with people at other companies or other locations. Gain the most exposure you can in the position by offering to help with work in another department or helping to plan a corporate event. Take the initiative to get to know others besides those immediately around you. Ask questions about things you don’t understand; most likely people will be thrilled to explain to you.
List your Accomplishments
When the internship is over, you should be able to list your accomplishments. Whether that is learned a new software program or met 20 new people, think about what you learned and how that will help in your fledgling career.
By Denise Gabbard