Landing an internship is only half the battle.
Once you’re in, your actions determine how you’ll seize this opportunity and reap from its benefits.
A recent study by Millennial Branding revealed that 91 percent of employers think that students should have completed between one and two internships before they graduate. Unpaid or paid, this internship experience plays a substantial part in your potential job hunt and future career success.
Being in the midst of my seventh internship, I have learned some useful practices for how to shine brightly and make the most out of an internship. Below are my “Five Strategies for Dominating Your Internship”
1. Take initiative.
Ask for things to do or propose project ideas. Don’t be the intern who waits for tasks to be assigned. The ball is in your court; prove to your supervisor why they made a great decision of hiring you. After drafting a news release, offer to draft a pitch or create a media list.
2. Set goals.
Establish your learning objectives. What do you want to gain from this experience? Keep a journal and jot down new skills, terms or expressions you come across each day.
Meet with your supervisor and ask for feedback. Communicate your needs and elaborate on areas where you want to improve. Remember that the best communicators start as great listeners.
4. Build your portfolio.
With permission from your supervisor, maintain copies of all the work you’ve produced. Whether it’s a calendar listing, news release or a blog post, these work samples help mold your personal brand. A well-maintained work portfolio showcases that actions speak louder than words.
5. Network, network, network.
Establish relationships with professionals in your field. Ask for advice and learn about their experiences. Keep these connections alive by using social media tools such as LinkedIn or Twitter. You never know who you’ll encounter along the way.
Lastly, always stay positive. Not every task is enjoyable. However, if met with enthusiasm and a can-do attitude, anything is possible. Sure, I am no Intern Queen, but hopefully these tips help you make a great impression and create a fruitful internship experience.
- Samantha Lozano, Intern