MAKING THE BEST OUT OF YOUR INTERNSHIP
After the long hours of drafting and re-drafting your resume and cover letter, researching possible interview questions and meticulously picking out the perfect outfit for your interview . . . . you are the chosen one, the new intern.
For the first week or two, you're wearing rose-colored glasses. Weeks 3 and 4 appear and you're over it. You knew the position as the company's intern wouldn't be the most glamorous one, but it's not even proving to be a potential learning experience. Or so you think. It's all about how you view this opportunity. Let us tell you how to reevaluate the situation and make the best out of your intern experience.
Observe and Identify
Spend one week honestly observing your current position, unbiased. I say unbiased because weeks 1-4, you were either really excited or super depressed about your internship. Week 5 should be used to reassess and focus on the business in its true form. Analyze how the company operates from management, honoring deadlines, company culture and content to their communication internally and externally. Throughout the week, you can identify and write down the strengthens and weaknesses of the company. Before you completely throw out your internship goals, cross-compare it to the list of the company's strengths and weaknesses. You'll find that both accomplishing your own goals and strengthening the company is possible, just in a different way than you originally thought.
Expand your Network
Know your department, but also network within the office when possible and appropriate. Make it a goal to know as much as you possibly can about what others do. You are not only gaining more information about a variety of the companies inner workings, but you're also connecting with other department heads. This will show you are truly invested in their company as a whole.
Highlight your Talents
You may have been hired to do one thing but, that doesn't mean you have to stay in that lane. If given the opportunity to showcase your other talents, take advantage of it! Hired to write content and great at photography too? Shoot a photos to complement articles. In the financial field and the next social media maven? Develop your findings in ways that entice the company's online audience and increase traffic. Remember, internships are supposed to be a learning and growing experience.
Volunteer your Services
Completed your project early? Slow day in the office? Don't wander around the building or chill in the break room, go see your manager and volunteer your time by inquiring about or acting on upcoming/ongoing projects. From the relationships you made from being involved with other departments, you can also volunteer your expertise with their projects. Companies want people who take initiative.
Communication is Key
Lastly, stay in the know with your manager. Be informed not just about your projects, but your progress as well. Take advantage of your scheduled employee reviews throughout your internship. Don't be afraid to schedule time in between reviews to ensure communication between both parties is clear. And if they don't schedule employee reviews, schedule your one-on-one time. Use this employee review to discuss your progress, strengths and weaknesses, success on projects and the type of content you've created. Being on the same page with your manager can open new doors and exclusive assignments throughout the duration of the internship. Having great communication can also prevent any confusion between both sides, as far as your intern duties and expectations are concerned.
So, before you count your current internship out and move on to the next one, try these steps. You'll see a big difference in the remainder of your time. You'll leave with sharpened and additional skills under your belt and most importantly—the experience!