Top Tips: Taking Advantage of Your Internship

Hats off to you for finding an internship and building experience related to your major! Now, how can you go about making the most of your 2-3 months on the job? With nearly 75% of all college students interning at some point in the college career, what are some top tips for setting yourself apart as the MVI (Most Valuable Intern)? Consider these three tips offered by the Vault College Career Bible.

1. Be There First: You may be one of several interns a company hires during the semester so try to schedule your start date to begin before anyone else. This offers you to individual attention and time to learn the office culture before your fellow interns. Also, employers will be more likely to bring challenging assignments to you because you have had more time to exhibit your skills and potential and learn the biz. Also, arrive early each morning and get to your work immediately. Your supervisor will notice your strong work ethic while the other interns show up on time and chat or check email before getting down to business.
2. Look around and Learn: Take the opportunity to learn as much as you can about the company. After you have had time to learn your department and build a foundation with the company, begin talking with employees in other departments to learn more about their jobs. Ask them to lunch to discuss their role in the company. As they describe their position, try to show how your own skills relate to the skills they use. If the person talks about presenting proposals to clients, mention how you have utilized your public speaking skills to pitch ideas as vice-president of the Marketing Club.
3. Never Complain: Even when a task is the most menial grunt work imaginable, always tackle it with a positive attitude and NEVER complain. Find a way to learn something in everything you do. If you are operating the switchboard, see it as an opportunity to ascertain what types of questions and calls the company receives. As long as you have a few substantive accomplishments for your resume, you’ll never have to mention your long hours at the copy machine. Express your interest in more substantive work and be specific about what that work could be. Develop an idea that you can implement and present it to your supervisor. They will appreciate your initiative even if they don’t go for your proposition.

Maximizing your internship experience is all about ambition and interest and finding opportunity in everything. Create goals for yourself and be proactive in achieving them. You only have a few months to prove your worth so you better get started now.

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