An internship is a great start to your career. You gain experience in various fields, get in touch with various professionals from different departments and have a mentor leading you down the road. It’s a great opportunity to see how the processes work inside the organization. So, remember to take everything from the internship that you can. How to have that splendid internship experience? Here are a few tips:
1. Choose a professional field you want to explore
Whenever you think about your internship, you have to start from the beginning. One of the main factors influencing your experience is choosing the right team and department. Choosing the wrong department can mean that maybe your internship experience will not be the best you could have. So, if you are not sure which department interests you the most, always bring this question up during your internship interview with a recruiter. They will help you identify where you should be the best match and what interests you the most.
And even if you realize that you may be in the wrong team during your internship experience, do not be afraid to bring that up with your mentor or a recruiter that you have been in contact with. If there is availability, they can help you transfer to a different team and explore new career fields.
2. Connect with your team
It’s important to connect with the people you are working with closely. These are the people you see every day (or most of the time) during your internship. Create warm, friendly and professional connections with your team members – it can even lead you to have several mentors during your internship! Sharing ideas, understanding each other and having a smooth work process is essential to having a great experience. Trust me – positive relationships make your life and, in return, work easier.
3. Don’t be shy!
Being active during your internship is vital. Show your motivation, knowledge, and skills, or, if you don’t have them yet, it’s the perfect time to develop them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – there is no other way to understand your tasks and learn. Asking questions shows that you listen to what is being asked, that the wheels in your head are turning, that you are interested in your work and that you seek to grow. So, don’t shy away and speak up.
4. Set meetings with your mentor
It’s always good to receive feedback about your work and accomplishments. However, the only way to get detailed feedback is to set weekly or monthly (depending on your internship length and preferences) meetings with your internship mentor. During these meetings, remember to ask questions that concern you, whether it’s about your tasks, your relationships with other people in your team, the development of your skills and where you would like to be involved.
5. Get to know other interns
You have the perfect time during your internship to network with industry professionals and other interns, whether they are from your department or another. Connect with each person you have a chance to interact with. Not only it’s a great practice that helps to understand how other departments and teams work and how all processes are intertwined in an organization, but it will also give you connections that could help you in your career later on. As a bonus, it is well known that conversation with people from different career fields boosts creativity and can help you come up with incredible ideas.