Depending on the program, college students are either required or encouraged to get a summer internship in their fields. All of the bachelor’s degree programs at Dean College require one because it provides students with the chance to network amongst professionals and enhance their skills. However, there's a bit more to completing a summer internship than just showing up on time every day. In order to get the most out of this experience, students need to do the following.
Set a Few Goals to Give Your Internship Some Direction
Most internships have some sort of direction. Interns will be given a specific project to work on, and then are provided with the tools needed to complete it. Some managers may stay as hands-off as possible unless the intern needs some assistance or has a question. In order to complete that project, or at least get as much done as possible, it’s important to set a few goals. Whether you want to learn more about a certain program that's used on the job or would like to finish this project and move on to another, it's time to set those goals and go about meeting them.
Get Organized and Track Your Projects
You'll need to find ways to get organized while on the job. Your workspace might belong to you alone, or it might be shared with other interns, so you'll need to keep everything that you need to get the job done nice and neat. If you share a space, keep your belongings on your side of the desk. The more organized you are, the more you'll get done.
In addition, you need to track your projects and the progress that you make on them. These, along with the skills required to complete them, are things that you can add to your resume.
Spend Time Meeting Everyone
It doesn't take long to meet everyone in the office, as long as you make your way around the building a little every day. Ask your manager to introduce you to other supervisors, employees and colleagues, or greet people you run into throughout the day. This way, you’ll expand your network, they'll learn who you are and you can inquire about what they do. The more that you learn about the various facets of the company and job, the better your internship experience will be.
Finally, it's important to be professional while interning. Yes, you're a college student who is more than likely used to being informal. However, you need to put on a professional front while at your internship. This means that you'll need to dress professionally, arrive on time every morning, put your cell phone away and act in a professional manner. Ideally, you want to impress the people that you're interning for, and the only way to do this is to appear as ready for work as you can every single day.
As you can see, there are many ways to get the most out of a summer internship. These four suggestions are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Learn more about our Success and Career Advisors, today!