Internship Experince, Networking, Professionalism, Email Etiquette, First Impressions
CAREER / 14 December 2016
Making the Most of Your Internship Experience
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Christina Cook

La Jolla


 You got your internship...but now what? You probably feel like a freshman all over again; new school -- clueless and worried about your first impression. Some people might take advantage of that, or they might be welcoming and invite you places. Your internship is like college; it is what you ultimately make of it. Don’t be upset if this wasn’t your dream internship. 

Here are several tips to start off on the right foot. 

Be an eager beaver and have a good attitude. Showing up on time, is one of the biggest positive impressions you can make on the first day of your internship. Although it might be awkward at first, don’t worry! The awkwardness will go away as soon as you know it! Just don’t freak out.

Create a small post about what you expect out of your internship. If you do not want to write a post, you can always add it to your notes section on your laptop, or a post it note on the side of your laptop, write a journal entry or maybe a reminder on your phone. Get creative! Aim to put this somewhere where you are reminded of your goal every few days. 

Sometimes asking questions can be the starting point of a connection with another person. When in doubt, ask questions about subjects that most people can relate to. Also, learn how others got their internship or full time position. Everyone who is working full-time probably has more experience than you in the industry and in life (even if they don’t, everyone definitely has a unique experience!). Get to know their viewpoints in the career path you want to take. 

You can also use this time to gain feedback for improvement. Some general questions you can ask your manager include:

How can I improve in x area? If you were me, what would you do differently? What were some things in college that you did differently? What are some skills that you believe are the most important for my major? Is there anyone else who I can talk to that can help me with my career goals? 

Sometimes you won’t know what to do, but, don’t let negative feedback make you want to stop interning there. 

If your higher ups are open to suggestions, aim to show that you are proactive in the workplace. If you have an idea or a project you want to create to improve the company you work for, pitch it and see what happens! Sometimes your ideas might actually benefit the company a lot! This can result in many people being impressed with your ability to be creative. (if you want more tips like this, read here for 21 more ways to make the most of your internship). 

Get to know who you will be working with. Do your best to get to know your direct manager and the team you plan on working on. There are also other people you are bound to meet that might have similar interests as you. Try to join activities that you know will help you build relationships. You might also be able to find people that can help you have a much more positive internship experience.

Sometimes, you will be able to see people’s true personalities after work. Maybe they’re actually hilarious co-workers. In some companies, there will be times they have internal events, or dinners. Take advantage of this time to get to know your co-workers better on a more personal level. 

Some places give you free food, free gym memberships, or free ride credits. These benefits could potentially change your lifestyle or allow you to meet more people that can benefit you. Again, the reason why they call it “benefits.”

Ask your manager for their phone number, e-mail or any other point of contact, and get them to write a small recommendation on LinkedIn. (remember to keep it professional at all times).

Go back to your personal goal, and see how far you made it! As shown above, learning from others in any way possible improves your internship and future experiences in life. With ProSky, you can gain such valuable experience remotely by signing up for a Projectship. These Projectships allow you to collaborate with other people within the nation, and between companies while gaining valuable job skills. If That’s not your thing, you can do an online training course all from the comforts of your own home. Now you add this to your resume like a boss.