Yay! So you have your summer internship lined up for the summer, and you are suuuuuper excited for it! But what if this is your first internship? What are you supposed to expect at the end of it? How do you make sure that you make the best of this experience?
Here are some tips:
Prove yourself – Show that you pay attention to detail and that you are eager to learn/perform, no matter how boring the task is. People will recognize your enthusiasm and let you try more interesting things.
Pay attention to the office culture and interact with co-workers – Get to know everyone in the office and how they interact! This gives you a feel for the social aspects of a career in the field would be.
Take your work seriously – Focus. Stay away from social networks, even if they seem to not affect your job. Take responsibility for any mistakes you make, because they can affect everyone in the workplace, not just you. If you make a mistake, tell your boss that you won’t make it again and make sure of it.
Ask for feedback – Ask your boss/supervisor how you are doing – what could you be doing differently? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Are you meeting goals? Taking the initiative in asking for feedback helps your supervisor give you input to help you grow.
Learn from your co-workers – Ask your co-workers about their careers: how did they get into the field? What do they like about it? What advice do they have for you? Let them know that you are open to any advice or constructive criticisms.
Dress appropriately – If you want the part, you have to look the part.
Say Thank You – show your genuine appreciation to your supervisor for the opportunity and guidance. Also thank your co-workers for their advice and support.
By using these simple tips, you can gain a lot from your internship and grow as an individual. The purpose of an internship is to test the path toward your dream career and to give you a taste for what the work world is like. You can learn so much simply by being in the work environment. So be brave, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and take a step closer to the real world.
Ellen Hoang, McMurtry College, Sid Rich PCA Liason