5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Summer Internship
Summer is almost here and by now most college students have already started their summer internships. Internships are a great ways to gain hands-on experience and get a better idea if the field you have chosen is a good fit. I have compiled a list of the top five tips I believe will help my fellow interns get the most out of summer internships.
1. Take advantage of every task
Every task that you take on will only help you to learn more about how the company works. Embrace each task with an enthusiastic attitude and ask your supervisor how it pertains to the bigger picture. This way you are able to see how all the small things add up.
Also, identifying additional things that could be done demonstrates initiative and motivation.
2. Ask questions!
If you don’t understand something- ask! There’s no such thing as a dumb question and as interns you are not expected to know everything about the industry. Internships are meant to be learning experiences and by asking questions, you are only learning more. Also, the more questions you ask initially, the faster you will pick up on how things work and will only benefit you in the long run.
When you do ask a question, be sure that you have made an attempt to find the answer on your own. Nothing is worse than asking a question that would have taken you only a moment to find on your own.
A summer internship can be the perfect place to fine tune your networking skills. Gaining visibility and maintaining professional contacts with not only your supervisors but also with other interns can prove to be valuable references for future internship and job opportunities.
Maintaining a professional relationship is always easier if there is a friendship behind it. Ask your supervisor if there are any events that you can attend.
This will help build you build that initial relationship making it that much easier to ensure that you are not forgotten once your internship comes to a close.
4. Speak Up
Don’t get lost in the crowd! Whether in a brainstorming meeting or in conversation with your supervisor; if you are knowledgeable on the topic or have an idea, share it! The more you share your thoughts with others the most you will stand out.
Good ideas can come from anywhere and your employer will be impressed with your initiative.
5. Stay Positive
All internships are meant to be learning experiences. You may find yourself frustrated at times but keep your chin up! Having a positive attitude especially during stressful times is an important quality to have.
Showing that you are able to approach every task with a positive attitude will help convince your supervisors that you are ready for more responsibility.
Overall remember, this is your internship! If there is a project that you’re interested in, ask to help. This is your opportunity to find what interests you the most so be sure to try and work on different projects. Taking risks is what internships are all about so learn to never say No, you will soon find yourself facing your fears and taking on new challenges you never thought possible. But, most of all make you to have fun!
Written by 451 intern, Nicole Estrada, a UMASS Amherst ’13 student.