Internship tips #1: the new entry level jobs are internships, that’s just the way things are now. You need to understand that experience leads to jobs and you need jobs to get experiences. Internships are the mid-point between both that can bridge the way to gainful employment!
If you were to look at them not so cynically as another ring to jump through once graduated, you’ll see that an internship, as Rasmussen College put it: “is an opportunity to showcase your current skills and develop new ones that will impress future employers—think of it as a 90-day job interview!”
How delightful. What’s important is to make the absolute most of your time wherever you are. True story: I once interned for three weeks at a music promotion office that took two hours and forty-five minutes to get to every day, was unpaid and resulted in me having to wash the managers car.
It’s not always going to be fun but if you have a positive attitude and follow these internship tips, you’ll be more than alright.
1. Build relationships
Instead of sucking up to whoever is topping the pecking order, find someone you would genuinely be friends with outside of your internship and try to stay in contact with them.
2. Expand your knowledge
Ask as many questions as you can possibly think of. If you’re worried about being annoying, don’t. You’re there to learn so don’t let any snide 9-5er get in your way. Rinse them for all the information they have.
3. Note down skills as you’re learning them
It’s worth having a small diary to keep track of all the things you’re learning as well as writing down any questions you have for later. Update your CV as soon as the internship is over while the skills are fresh in your mind.
4. Manage your time
Treat your internship like a real job. Stick to deadlines, don’t be late and leave when it’s appropriate. Don’t be one of those interns that stays until 7 every night, you might think you look dedicated but it can, more often than not, look like you don’t know how to time manage.
5. Think about future career goals
Is this what you want to do? Look at the people around you, soak in the office atmosphere and have a serious think about your future career goals.
6. Ask about a job
The worst they can say is no and the best thing they can say will make the 6-12 months post-graduate not the literal nightmare it will be for a lot of your friends, just saying.