Making the Most of your Internship

An internship is a valuable thing to waste. If you’re lucky enough to be invited to participate in an internship, try to make the most of the opportunity. You’ll thank yourself after college.

Use the following tips to really get all you can out of your internship:

Ask questions. Don’t be afraid of looking stupid! You’re participating in the internship to learn about the job in a hands-on way. The more questions you ask, the better.

Network, network, network. During your time as an intern, try to meet as many people as possible, especially people who are in careers that you aspire to be in some day. Take business cards, attend events, and, in general, do as much job networking as possible.

Give people a reason to remember you. Remember, interns come and go every few months at most companies. In two or three years when you graduate, will you be remembered? It isn’t about being remarkable; not every employee can change the face of the company. It’s about doing your job well and making connections with your boss and the other people in the office. After your internship ends, stay in touch with the people you’ve met.

Take part in as many extra activities as possible. If your boss gives you the day off because they’re having in-office training, ask if you can come in anyway and take part. If everyone is going out to lunch to discuss a big client, ask if you can tag along. The more things you get to experience, the better.

Sit in on job interviews if possible. For confidentiality reasons, this isn’t always an option, but if you can, it is a great opportunity.

You’ll get to see what kind of questions you’ll be asked when you interview for similar positions in the future.

Internships are all about learning. You’re there to do a job, of course, but this should be an educational experience as well, especially if you’re not getting paid. Except in extreme circumstances, you won’t get fired for making a mistake, so it is better to take chances and try new things rather than be unsure and blend in with your surroundings. Make the most of your student internship – you can’t be guaranteed that you’ll ever have the same chances again.

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