By Honest College’s Robbie Williford.
In today’s world of a college student, finding an internship that fits them is a priority. Once you become a junior in college, you start searching for a place that you wouldn’t mind working for free for; a place where they can build their experience and learn on-the-job training for the real world. I can tell you that there are quite a few things that people overlook about their internship and they don’t realize it until it’s over.
In this piece, Ill be talking about a few things that will help you get the very most out of your internship. You’ll be able to leave your internship with a wealth of knowledge in your intellectual and social arsenal that you’ll be able to use in your everyday career.
Ask as many questions as you possibly can
This is one of the most important things when it comes to your internship. Sure, you’ll see a few things that you’ve already expected to be a part of the experience, but I can guarantee that you’ll also see some things that will puzzle you. Ask about them. Find out how things work. You’ll be accomplishing two things by asking questions: you’ll be learning, and you’ll be showing the internship supervisor that you’re curious about how things work and about learning. That could go a long way with letter of recommendation or landing a great job.
Go above and beyond your call of duty
My only question to you about this is: why not? Going above and beyond what people ask of you, without becoming overbearing, is a great way to set yourself up for success. Don’t do just the bare minimum, you won’t get very far and your work ethic will start to deteriorate. Maintaining a good work ethic is a huge key to being productive and getting shit done. So when someone at your internship asks you to finish a task, find a way to finish it with style and class.
Ask to be included in some of the brainstorming sessions
Some of the most important meetings for supervisors are the ones that include the future of the company or organization- the meetings that include the establishment’s vision and mission. This may be something that you don’t do until you’re a little ways into the internship and you’ve learned a lot already. But ask your supervisor if you can sit in on one of those meetings that heads are coming together to brainstorm and reflect. You can sit in the back, next to the coat hangers or by the garbage bin. However you do it, find a way to work yourself in there because you’ll learn so many things about the company and about how they process the information of their future.
This is something that will show your supervisor that you’re curious with how things work and that you’re hungry to learn.
Do as many things as you can to gain experience
Seriously, do everything that you can possibly do to learn. By staying later and asking someone who isn’t in your department how something works or if they need any help with anything, you’ve setting yourself up to gain more valuable experience. Plus, you can use all the experience you can get; you’ll be able to apply it to actual work situations and you’ll have a leg-up on the competition.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Making mistakes is an important part of the learning process. So is losing. Both are great tools for building yourself as a professional and as a person. Through making a mistake, you’re finding out what doesn’t work and you’re able to use the process of elimination to find your solution. By losing, you’re able to see within yourself. You can see what things you need to change in order to succeed.
Most people are afraid of making mistakes. But me? I learned from the best – Mrs. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus: “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!” She taught me that taking chances, making mistakes, and getting messy was okay. And it is. All of it is okay. If you’re at your internship and you make a mistake, take it with a grain of salt. Learn from it. Take a chance and don’t be afraid of making a mistake because chances are, you’re going to learn a lot from it.
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