Congratulations! You just landed an internship position in your desired career field.
You will soon find out that internships are an amazing way for you to gain hands on, professional experience that can help you seamlessly enter the workforce or better yet, become your stepping stone to a full-time position.
As you start out, it’s essential to make the absolute most out of your internship experiences because every task whether mundane or the most exciting thing you’ve ever done is a crucial learning opportunity that can potentially alter your career path.
So, pay attention interns, because this one's for you. Five pieces of advice, for an intern, by an intern, to help you take your internship experience to the //NKST level.
// Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
As an intern, you are surrounded by smart, knowledgeable people who have real-life experience in the field you are most interested.
Your coworkers are available to help you learn, so it’s important to not be afraid to ask questions when you are confused or need clarification. If you don't know how to do something, ask! Or if you want to know more about a workplace decision, just ask!
It shows your curiosity and that you want to learn and absorb as much information as possible. And trust me, I understand that at times it can feel like all you’re doing is asking your mentor questions, but as long as you are asking smart / knowledgeable questions, there is no reason to be ashamed.
In fact, most managers expect and respect questions from interns. Asking how to do something and doing it right is a whole lot better than doing something wrong because you were unsure of expectations. So be curious, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and absorb as much as possible!
// Take on every opportunity presented to you.
Say “yes” whenever possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s something you’ve done before or if it’s something completely new to you.
Every task or project offered to you during your internship is an opportunity to learn something new, so don’t hesitate to take it on!
Try and expose yourself to as many people and things as possible because at the end of the day, your job as an intern is to grow and learn as much as possible.
// Be flexible and easy to work with.
It’s important that management and coworkers enjoy having you as an intern. Being flexible and easy to work with can help ensure that will happen.
Actions such as accepting all assignments without complaining and volunteering at every opportunity not only shows your hard work and eagerness but also makes for a more enjoyable work environment.
Respecting others opinions, carefully listening to everyone's input, and being able to compromise goes a long way in the workplace and is something that your employer will definitely appreciate.
// Be transparent with your time.
Transparency is key. I know I said earlier to say yes to every opportunity given to you, and that still rings true, but it’s also ok to say, “yes, I can do that, but I have a few other things on my schedule as well. Is it okay if I get this to you later today or tomorrow?”
This especially important for college students that are interning while attending school or balancing summer jobs. Not only will your manager most likely understand, but they will also appreciate you being upfront and honest about the amount of work you can effectively and efficiently take on.
//Learn from your mistakes.
Like it or not, you’re probably going to make mistakes. When this does happen, first of all own the mistake, don’t blame others and then allow it to be a learning experience.
No one likes to make a mistake, but when you do, how you react and recover from the missteps says a lot about your true nature and abilities. As long as you take care to avoid repeating the same mistakes, you may find that an occasional mishap can often lead to greater successes in the future.
Internships allow you the opportunity to reveal your true work potential. By being curious, determined, flexible, practical and able to learn and grow you are revealing your industry marketability.
Hopefully by following these 5 tips, you will be able to demonstrate your ability to flourish in a workplace setting with the ultimate goal of a full-time position in your not too distant future.