Getting your first summer internship can be an exciting milestone, but may also leave you with feelings of "What now". I mean you already did all the interviews and hard work to get this internship, but now you have no idea how to maximize your time there while also enjoying your time there. So here are a few tips that could help spark some ideas.
1. Connect with Everyone
Meeting new people can be hard, but it can also be rewarding for you in a multitude of ways. You could end up making great connections that could help you even after your internship and you could also end up making great friends while you're there. So, when introducing yourself to people on your team, try this, tell them your name, where you are from, what you like to do for fun, and what you hope to bring to this internship and you may just find that you have more in common with your colleagues than you think.
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2. Find a Mentor
Find someone who you look up to and one whose career you want to emulate. Get to know them, send them a formal email about how you want to know more about them and their career. Doing this would help you better plan for your future and also gain more knowledge about a field that you're interested in. Then you could pay your experience forward by volunteering to mentor other new interns after you.
3. Set Clear Goals For Your Internship
Being clear about specific skills you want to gain from this internship, and about things that you want to achieve while you are there, will help you gain structure and meaning from your internship while also avoiding unnecessary frustration or conflict. It would also make you look like a better employee as well if your employer saw that you are organized and ahead on what work needs to be done.
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4. Seek Out Growth Opportunities
The first few days there will most likely include a lot of training and onboarding sessions. Take advantage of those moments and ask as many questions as you have. Try to learn as much as you can about the company.
This is a good opportunity to understand how the company works from the inside out. The more info you know about the company, the better you will be able to approach each working day with energy and curiosity.
5. Keep a Journal
Keeping track of the work you are doing in this internship is beneficial for your career beyond this internship because it can help you recall past ideas and learnings. Keeping track of your accomplishments, especially any numbers that prove your success to be tangible, will also be very helpful when updating your resume or when asking your employer for a letter of recommendation.
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6. Seek Feedback and Reflect
Try actively seeking out and asking your supervisor and colleagues about your performance. This is something that may seem hard to do because I know that some people may have a fear of failure or rejection, but it can also be really helpful for you, in the long run, to know what your strengths and weaknesses are, because then you would be able to reflect and work more on them to prevent more mistakes with your other business endeavors.
7. Show Enthusiasm and Interest
Demonstrating the enthusiasm and interest you have for the work you are doing can prove to your employer that you were the right person for the job and that you genuinely care and have the same goals that they do. Your enthusiasm, even on those hard days, can make a lasting impression that makes you more memorable and potentially leads to more job offers and recommendations.
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8. Watch and Learn
Understanding and acting in accordance with the company culture at your internship can take some time, which is why it is always good to watch and seek guidance from your coworkers and ask for help when needed to help you best figure out the routines of the organization and so that you can learn the ins and outs of the business.
9. Quality Over Quantity
Make sure to review your work before submitting it to your manager. Don't just rush doing a task or try to complete as many tasks as possible, take the time to carefully review and put a lot of effort into your work. Taking the time to do your work well will make you appear like a more impressive worker if you produce quality work rather than just producing okay work at a faster rate. This proves to your employer that you pay attention to detail and that you care about the quality of your work.
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10. Be Professional
Remember to always be aware of your surroundings and act appropriately according to the right settings. The key to doing this is to be yourself while also being aware of certain behaviors and habits that are acceptable in your workplace and which ones are not.
It is always a good idea to try your hardest and make a good first impression on your first internship, but that can sometimes be a tricky thing to do so I hope that these tips can help you get started on the right foot. As someone who has had several internships now, I know how nerve-racking things can feel even after you have been accepted the job, but an important thing to always remember is what you bring to the table and that you got this job because of your great skills and that you deserve this position just as much as anyone else and remembering that important fact and a few of these tips above will leave you on just the right track to having a successful internship.