This break, I have been doing an internship that I actually really love. I don’t find myself waiting for the time to pass and dying to leave.
Instead, I am always so busy and love the projects I’m working on as well as the people I’m working with. Everyone is so helpful, welcoming, and very, very smart.
As we all know, internships are a very important part of college and are instrumental in getting a job once college is over.
On top of that, they are a great learning experience. If you’re anything like me and love to work, you probably think they are so much fun. I love learning how to do new tasks and I also find it super interesting to observe and become a part of new work environments.
I have had an array of very different internships, and luckily each of them has been a pleasurable and unique learning experience.
One of the most important things to do at an internship is make lasting connections and stand out. Here are the best ways I’ve found to do just that:
1. Find out how you can help – the reason you are even at an internship is to help the company get things done, grow, and be successful. Make sure that each day, you actively find out how you can help everyone else that works there. They will appreciate the assistance, you will get to do a bunch of tasks, and you will be a part of helping the company move forward, which is actually really cool when you think about it.
2. Show that you want to be a part of the team – many interns seem to have the mentality that they are separate from the rest of the office because they are not an official employee. This is the totally wrong way to think! Instead, show that you want to be a part of the team. Make conversation with colleagues, go to lunch with the other workers instead of eating at your desk, and participate in the little things they do. Immerse yourself completely in the office culture. This is the best way to make connections within your internship and it is also a great learning experience for you, because it will help you figure out what kind of office culture you ultimately want to be a part of.
3. Be proactive – show your bosses that you really want to be there by taking initiative and being proactive during your time at the office, no matter how long or short. Share your ideas and make frequent suggestions to show that you care about the work you’re doing and that to you, it’s not just busy work. This not only shows effort but conveys the fact that you understand the work that they do in the office and that you are proficient enough in it to make add your own spin to it.
4. Ask questions – asking questions is a great indication to those that you’re working with that you’re genuinely interested in what you’re doing and in what their company is all about. Ask poignant and well thought out questions that will really wow them about the company, as well as questions about them – regarding their experiences working there and even ask for advice as a student and soon to be worker.
5. Be polite – being nice and polite is almost always appreciated and makes life a heck of a lot easier, in my opinion. Be sure to thank your employers for the opportunity that you are taking advantage of regularly. Never make a mess and be respectful of office space and equipment. Always be on time and don’t complain. Follow up with office employees and be sure to send thank you cards and keep in touch even after you leave to maintain the connection.
Whether it is a good or bad experience, every internship is a great chance to learn and form relationships that could be useful in the years to come. Soak in every second of the experience and appreciate the opportunities you are given, as you never know just how much they will teach you.