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How to get the most out of your internship
Getting your dream internship can be very exciting, but more importantly, it can open many doors for you in the future. As an intern, you are constantly learning and developing your skills. When entering into the world of work, this doesn’t change, but the way you apply for a job and consider new opportunities does. You need to be aware of the skills you have gained through your work experience, and present them in a way that makes you a desirable candidate to a potential employer.
There are many things to consider when applying for your dream internship, but it is important to make sure that you are making decisions that will enable you to achieve your personal and professional goals.
How do you choose an internship or work experience opportunity?
Aligning your internship choice or work experience with your career goals can be highly beneficial. While it can be difficult to decide which route to take, it is important to recognise the opportunities that would not only help develop key skills for your future, but also ones that you would enjoy.
Here are some key questions to consider when considering which internship to apply for:
- What sector do you want to work in and why?
- What aspects of your degree did you enjoy the most? Consider these when you are reading through job responsibilities in a job description.
- Where do you want to work? It is important to consider location in terms of travel time and route to work as this can affect your way of living.
- What pay bracket are you looking to achieve? This is more important if you are considering relocation, and therefore your living expenses may change.
- What is the company I’m applying to like to work for? Looking at Glassdoor or Feefo reviews can give you some insight into what it’s like to work for a business from people who have been there themselves.
How can you be sure it’s the right choice for you?
Going into a new environment can be daunting, and if this is your first internship, it can be difficult to adjust to the idea of working in one place for a prolonged period of time. You cannot be one hundred percent sure about an opportunity until you try it, but you can make some considerations before the job starts as to whether you’d be the right fit for the business.
1. Ask a lot of questions in the interview
It is a great idea to ask questions about the company culture, training and development, progression opportunities, and what the current team is like, during your interview. This will give you the opportunity to gauge what type of working environment you are going into. If you don’t get a straight answer or don’t like what you hear, it is likely you won’t get what you want out of the opportunity and organisation.
2. Do your research
Doing research on the business will not only help you to prepare for your interview, but it can also help you to learn more about their policies and core values. If these do not align with yours, then it is likely you won’t be passionate about working there. Also, learning more from review sites and previous employees can help you to get a real insight into what it would be like working there.
3. Ask for a mentor
A mentoring scheme is a great way to learn about the business from someone who knows a lot about it and can provide you with invaluable knowledge and insights. Not to mention, they can help you with general work worries and advise you on how to become a better professional.
How can you showcase your experience effectively in the future?
An internship or work experience can give you the opportunity to hone in and develop some key technical, soft, and transferable skills for the future. It is important that you write and perfect your CV so that you best showcase your skills and experience for future opportunities, once your internship has finished.
Whilst you’re working in your internship, keep notes and track your performance across your time there. Write down examples of when you have completed a task well or learned a new skill, as this will be useful when you go into an interview with a potential employer. Download our internship checklist that you can fill out throughout your internship journey, so you are best prepared for future interviews.
If you are interested in looking for internship opportunities in your area, register with PageTalent today.