So you just landed your dream summer internship. Congrats! Internships are the best way for career-minded college students to build a professional network, get job experience, and learn from leaders in their industry of choice. However, a lot of students forget that getting hired is only the first step. There’s a lot of work that needs to be put in, both inside and outside your actual job assignment, to take full advantage of this awesome opportunity. Check out these 6 tips for how to rock your internship and get the most out of your summer.
1. Network Your Butt Off
This one may seem obvious, but often times students forget that an internship is just as much about making connections as it is about the actual work. Growing a network of professionals in your industry is crucial to finding other opportunities. Make an effort to talk to as many people as possible about your own interests and goals, as well as to ask about their experience at the company or how they got to where they are now. Also, you aren’t limited to networking within your office! See if your college has any meet-ups near you and use those as a way to talk to people from other companies.
2. Hit Up Every Company Event
One of the best ways to get to know people outside of your team is to attend events. These could be workshops, meet-ups, or even retreats. Find out what your company has planned for the summer, and make an effort to hit up as many gatherings as possible. You’ll become a recognizable face around the office, as well as get the chance to make connections with people you don’t run into on a daily basis.
3. Go The Extra Mile With Your Work
Yes, you might be used to pulling last minute all-nighters to study for college exams, but your summer internship is probably not the place for slacking off. Make sure you’re always putting 110% into every assignment (yes, even if you get sent on coffee runs). Also, don’t forget to ask your manager or supervisor if there are any extra tasks that you can help out with. A proactive attitude is one of the best ways to stand out in the office.
4. Be Ready To Learn
Just because you got the job doesn’t necessarily mean you have all the skills the company is looking for, and employers love to see an intern who is enthusiastic about learning the ins and outs of their position. Ask tons of questions, admit when you aren’t quite sure how to do something, and think of every assignment or interaction as a possibility to gain knowledge! As a college student, learning is (hopefully) something you’re used to at this point, so this should be a breeze.
5. Talk To People At All Levels
Interns might be at the bottom of the company food chain, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay there. More often than not, upper management love the opportunity to impart wisdom on anyone who is eager to listen. It might seem scary at first to approach a VP or even a CEO for advice, but if you have the chance you should definitely go for it. Not many students are bold enough to reach out so you’ll seem extra dedicated, a quality that companies love to see in their interns.
6. Build Meaningful Relationships Outside The Office
Have a coworker you really vibe with? See yourself actually being friends with the other interns? Ask to get together outside the 9-5 work grind! This is especially helpful if you’re in a new city without family or friends. By showing that you care about the people you’re working alongside, you’ll get more out of the experience, build a solid network, and maybe even make some lifelong friends.
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