Finding an internship can be hard. But getting the internship is only the first step. After your internship starts, it is up to you to make the most of it. Even if you work for free, your internship could be worth a fortune. You will gain valuable job experience and make connections with people who can help you develop your career.
The team at ELSA have worked in many internships, at both large companies like Microsoft and Google, and at unpaid internships. Check out ELSA’s latest module content under Topic > Education > Consonant Cluster to find out what these top 8 tips are, and the four most common mistakes in your internship you should avoid.
Let’s take a sneak peek of some important lessons we have learned on how to succeed at an internship.
Meet and greet your coworkers
Internships are an excellent opportunity to meet people at the company. Many of the people you meet at your internship will move onto other jobs, but if you stay in touch with them, you can help each other in your careers for years to come. Invite your coworkers and other interns to eat lunch together. Try to attend every company event that you get invited to. If there are other interns at the company, you can start a Facebook group for all the interns. Finally, be sure to add your contacts into Linkedin so you can keep in touch.
One year, I interned at Microsoft in the United States. In that summer, thousands of interns from hundreds of universities around the world worked at Microsoft. I stayed in touch with several interns who I met that summer. Even though we worked together for only one summer, we remained good friends. Ten years later, we still referred job opportunities to each other and periodically share career advice with each other.
Ask your supervisor for feedback
Your supervisor can give you guidance that will help you succeed at your job and also in your long-term career. To make the most of your relationship with your supervisor, be sure to establish up front what they expect you to deliver. List out the top tasks that they’d like you do accomplish. Prioritize those tasks in order of importance, so you know what to focus on. Then you should check in with your supervisor periodically to get their feedback on how you’re doing. You can simply ask: “Can I have your feedback on how I’m doing?” or “Is there anything I can do to improve?” and then listen to what they have to say.
The Microsoft summer internship program requires interns to meet with their supervisor once a week for feedback. Even if a supervisor has been working closely with their intern all week, they would still schedule time each week to give feedback to their intern.
Set personal goals
Spend some time thinking about how you want your internship to help your career. Do you want to keep working at the company after school begins? Would you like to come back again next summer? Do you want your boss to write a LinkedIn recommendation for you? Are you just exploring whether or not you like a particular role or industry? Once you’ve established what your goal is, it will be much easier to find ways to reach those goals. Consider telling your supervisor and coworkers about your goals so they can help you reach them.
More more tips about internships, check out the ELSA app. From your ELSA App, go to the topic: Education. You’ll find 8 tips and 4 mistakes you should avoid, to make your internship a success!
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