College Advice Blog

May 14, 2012

5 Things You Need to Do During an Internship

Imagine yourself the head of a big company whose business is in an upswing and needs more workers. You’ve decided to take in an intern.

What would you be looking for?

Someone with experience, of course.

This is why career experts have long been stressing the importance of internship during college years. It seems students are listening. According to statistics published by almost 9 out of every 10 students (86%), have done at least one internship, and more than half of those did two or more.

So if you think an internship alone will make you stand out, think again. Experience is crucial – that much is true – but not all experiences are equal.

If you want your internship to stand out from the crowd, here are 5 things you need to do:

  1. Show enthusiasm
You are doing this internship to learn how things are done ‘on the ground’. Ask questions at the appropriate times.  Smart people are usually happy to explain what and how they do things, and there’s nothing more enticing than a new person eager to learn and explore.

Don’t only use words to show enthusiasm, show it with your actions by going the extra mile. That will really get your boss to rave about you when interviewing for a paying job.

  1. Avoid negativity
There is nothing more annoying and hard to live with than a negative thinking co-worker. But in the work environment we have to contend with different types and sometimes put up with traits that we do not hold dear to our hearts.

As the new kid on the block, you don’t want to be the one bad seed. Don’t complain about tasks you are asked to do, and don’t remind everyone that you are not getting paid for whatever you are asked to do. The internship might be a temporary situation, but people will remember you for years to come.

Treat everybody with respect and do not treat anybody as if he/she is beneath you because you went to college.

  1. Get as much exposure as possible to people and ideas
Be open minded. Although it’s true that you have just learned about a new study in this field, you still don’t know everything. You are here to learn, not to teach.

Attend events the company is hosting, mingle and network. It will be a huge help when you are looking for that paying job.

  1. Learn as much as you can about the industry you are interning
Take all the opportunities that are given to you to attend meetings and conferences. Some meetings might be boring to you, but this is an opportunity to see the personalities of the people involved and how they interact.

You can learn a lot by watching body movements and facial expressions. If the business is offering training workshops, see if you can take advantage of it. The more you know the better you will be.

  1. Be responsible
This might be the beginning of your professional career. This internship can serve as a small footprint you leave in this industry. Show respect. Be punctual. Deliver on your promises. Arrive on time, and dress appropriately.

About the Author

This article was written by Andrianes Pinantoan. He is a freelance writer who is currently part of the team behind Open Colleges. If you have a blog and want free content, contact him on Google+.

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