Maximize Your Experience
Now that you've gotten the internship, here are a few tips for getting the most out of your internship experience!
- Focus on your internship priorities
- Learn, not just work
- Remember to
- The Don'ts
Focus on your internship priorities:
- Clarify your employer's expectations of you up front so you will know exactly what your position entails.
- Ask about the employer's dress codes.
- If you are receiving a salary or stipend, make sure you understand all of the details (e.g., how often you get paid).
- Clarify your work days and hours. Remember, this is the "real world": buy an alarm clock if necessary.
- Begin observing and understanding workplace culture from the very first day.
- Start building a good relationship with your supervisor(s) and co-workers. Remember, this internship also is your chance to start a professional network.
- Practice good business etiquette.
- Find a mentor. A good mentor is someone who is willing to share their knowledge and expertise and wants to see their mentee succeed.
Learn, not just work:
- Use break times to ask other staff members about their jobs.
- Ask if you can participate in meetings to learn more about the company or industry.
- Ask questions. Take advantage of your student status and ask questions about anything you do not understand.
- Read professional trade journals and magazines.
- Learn about the company and the industry.
- Ask appropriate questions.
- Watch for signals as to where or when you can help.
- Ask for feedback and support from your supervisor and co-workers.
- Find out whom you should go to for help.
- Cultivate key feedback sources and start building your professional network.
- Always listen actively to directions and instructions.
- Show enthusiasm for your work.
- Be flexible.
- Always follow through on projects, even if it means needing additional clarification.
- Be a good listener. Don't interrupt.
- Avoid gossip and office politics.
- Use work e-mail for non-business use.
- Use company time for personal phone calls.
- Download programs or viruses to the office computer.