Landing a good internship is more than a just plain resume building exercise. This is an opportunity to learn, explore yourself and set things in the right perspective for professional growth. Let’s have a look at how to make the most of it.
1. Test yourself
An internship is the ideal place to try new skills and roles, as you will be assisted and guided to succeed by a group of experienced individuals. This is an opportunity to discover your strengths and ability to work on solutions that are fresh and creative. Push yourself as much as you can, put your every skill to test and gain new ones. Through experimentation and trial-and-error, you will learn what kind of work you enjoy and are looking for as a career.
2. Consult your supervisors regularly
Always seek feedback! Speak to your supervisors on the development you are making and solutions you want to try. Grab this opportunity to ask questions and extract all the knowledge you can from your mentors. This will not only help you improve your work during your internship, but will also help you grow as a successful professional. This practice will also demonstrate that you’re thoughtful and eager to progress in your profession.
3. Go the extra mile
At your internship, you will be exposed to real business issues in the form of projects. Take advantage of that! Let your managers know that you’re enthusiastic to take up more responsibility. Move around, speak to other teams and learn about their projects too. Do not confine yourself. Proactively looking for more tasks and seeking information will help you improve your understanding of the overall work and business and will also make your hours well spent.
4. Network and then network more
While you need to give your best at the tasks you have been assigned, it’s also important to build a strong network. Every conversation is a networking opportunity. Get away from your desk and make connections. Your colleagues can share relevant knowledge and information that can help you accomplish your tasks, and they may become important contacts for future projects. Additionally, networking will help you build up your list of professional contacts that can help you with a strong reference and in some cases, potentially set you up for a job.
5. Leave a lasting impression
Building a strong relationship with your supervisors and co-workers can take some time, but it’s worth every bit of effort. Work towards it systematically, have a positive outlook towards people and work, display a good work ethic, and be resourceful and pleasant to work with. Be somebody your co-workers can depend on and would love to collaborate with. A good rapport with them will also mean that they can vouch for you when there is a job vacancy. Make sure you take the extra step to keep in touch with them even after your internship is over.
Jennifer Tsai works with Philip Morris International, as a brand building executive in INKOMPASS ( https://www.inkompass.global/ ), PMI’s global internship brand. INKOMPASS offers university students the opportunity to work on real business projects and gain portable skills that will help them succeed in their professional lives.