Internships are valuable opportunities. They provide students and newly minted professionals with a chance to hone their skills and gain real-world experience over the course of a few months.
But, if you want to make the most out of your internship, it’s wise to not leave things to fate. While this may be your first time in a professional environment, that doesn’t mean you can’t excel in the role. If you want to take your summer internship to the next level, here’s what you need to do.
Identify Core Goals
Most interns have at least one goal in mind before they walk through the door on their first day, and that’s typically to gain valuable experience. However, an internship can help you achieve much more, particularly if you identify other potential objectives in advance.
For example, are their specific skills you want to learn that can help you professionally? Are you looking for a mentor that you can remain in contact with after the internship is done? Is getting a permanent position something you’d want to explore?
By identifying your core goals, you create objectives to work toward, helping you guide your experience in the most beneficial direction possible.
Treat It Like a Working Interview
Internships provide more than an opportunity to get your feet wet in a particular field. In some cases, they can also lead to long-term positions, giving you a chance to start your career with the same company. However, if you want this option to be available, then you need to treat your internship as more than a learning opportunity.
By treating your internship like a working interview, you’ll remain on your best behavior. Ultimately, it keeps you in the mindset that all of your activities and choices are being assessed to see whether you may be a good fit for a permanent position. This makes it easier to maintain a positive attitude and showcase your excitement for the opportunity as you know you only have a short time to make a lasting impression.
Additionally, it is a chance for you to evaluate the workplace and role, as well. You can determine whether you enjoy working with the company, if the culture meets your needs, and if the duties capture your interest.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Since an internship is a learning experience, questions naturally come with the territory. The company doesn’t expect you to know everything, so don’t hesitate to speak up if you need additional information.
By asking questions, you are being proactive, ensuring you have what you need to succeed. Additionally, it can show you have a curious nature and a willingness to learn, both of which can be viewed as positives by the organization.
Track Your Accomplishments
As you progress through your internship, make sure to track your accomplishments as they happen. Take notes about the achievement, quantifying details when appropriate, and save the summaries in a safe place. This allows you to reference your notes when updating your resume or discussing a possible permanent position and why you are a great candidate.
Ultimately, internships are excellent opportunities that can assist you as you move your career forward. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking a new job, the professionals at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to discuss your career goals today and see how our services can benefit you.