1) Set goals and targets from the outset – make sure you understand the job description before you start your internship. You should be going in with a clear understanding of what it is that you want to learn and experience during your time with the company. Relay these thoughts to your manager at the very beginning and come together to set some goals or targets for you to work towards during your time. By having an aim to work towards and setting consistent tasks and challenges, preventing you from becoming underused and the experience wasted. Keep a documented record of your work and schedule regular catch-up sessions to monitor your progress and make sure you’re keeping on track!
2) Be proactive - as an intern it is too easy to hide away in a corner completing menial tasks, whilst slowly counting down the hours. Instead, it is far more beneficial for you to be proactive within your role. Taking the initiative by asking for work proves that you are someone who is confident in your ability to add value and be a useful asset to the team. Ask to be involved in as many team projects as possible and don’t be afraid to bring new and fresh ideas to the table; the best way to get noticed is to get stuck in at every opportunity!
3) Build a relationship with your team– alongside being proactive; building both professional and social relationships with your team can be an invaluable way of getting the most out of your internship. This means attending team bonding events, and getting involved in workplace activities. As the team get to know you on a more personal level they are much more likely to include you in their projects whilst you’re there, connect with you on LinkedIn and remember you when you have gone.
4) Ask questions - the internship experience is the perfect insight into the world of work and the best chance to sample first hand all the different fields that you’re interested in. Make the most of it by asking questions, set up inductions with heads of department; ask if you can shadow people who are working in different roles. By doing all this you can begin to get a clearer understanding of the different demands each role presents, which can help you decide what type of permanent role is right for you. Do all you can to gather as much information as possible from the people with real employment experience about the day to day operation of each specific role.
5) Network your heart out – at every opportunity throughout your internship do your very best to network with the people around you, subsequently building up a database for when you start looking for a permanent position. As aforementioned, don’t be afraid to connect with your colleagues on LinkedIn and ask them to endorse you; be sure to remember names and take down email addresses. All this helps expand your database of contacts and connections, giving you a head start when you attempt to secure a permanent job.
For more information on how to ace your internship and turn it into a permanent offer, check out this great article: