Internship Tips and Tricks
Internships are what you make of them. They can be a great opportunity to gain experience, build connections, and discover what kind of position you would (or would not) like to pursue after college. Even if your internship has made you realize this line of work is not for you, it is still a learning experience that can provide many resources! Each of my internships have taught me how to get the most out of the experience. Here are a few things I have learned:
An internship is your opportunity to get a sense of the beginnings of work life after graduation. The employees at your internship are there to help you, so use them as a resource and ask as many questions as you can about company culture, challenges and rewards of their job, and any other professional advice you may be looking for. This will not only satisfy some of your unanswered questions, but can also serve as a great way to build a professional relationship that can last after the internship is over.
Strong, well-built professional relationships are invaluable to furthering your career path post-graduation. Use your internship as a way to network with employees and other interns as well. I have stumbled upon many amazing opportunities simply by networking with other interns – including joining PRSSA! The more connections you have, the better. If you get the opportunity to meet an upper level employee, try to introduce yourself and even ask them a question if they have time. Connecting with people you meet at your internship on LinkedIn is also a great way to follow up with a thank you message and keep up with company and industry related news.
Stay motivated and ask for work.
From my experience, every internship has its hectic times as well as its lulls. Be sure to let your boss know when you finish a project and whether or not you have any other assignments lined up yet. Keeping your boss aware of your workload can help maintain its balance. If he or she doesn’t have work for you at the moment, take a sweep around the office and offer a helping hand to the employees in your department! Another way to get involved is to ask if you can sit in on a brainstorm meeting or phone call sometime. Showing a strong work ethic and eagerness to help and stay busy is a great way to impress and stand out.
Play your strengths, work on your weaknesses, and express your interest!
As you begin to find your place at your internship and get to know everyone, tell what your strengths are, what skills you would like to work on, and anything you would be interested in participating in. Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know how to do something – that’s what the internship is for! When I started my current internship, I made sure to mention my interest in writing and social media. I also informed them of my lack of experience with creating graphics and that I would like to practice making them with different programs. Not only did they give me the responsibility of running the company’s social media platforms, but they also gave me the opportunity to design a graphic flyer for one of their events to be distributed. This small gesture added a lot to my internship experience as it allowed me to not only do what I already know and love, but also to explore a new skill in a learning environment.
When all is said and done, internships are a way for you to gain experience and figure out what kind of career is right for YOU. You will get out of an internship what you put into it. If you are open-minded and show up to your internship each day with a positive attitude and strong work ethic, you will leave with so much more under your belt!
This blog post was written by Peyton Pflug, Secretary