How to Get the Most Out of Your Internship!

By Kyla S. – Digital Marketing Intern

Internships are everywhere! There are a variety of internships available, but usually, they are for new graduates and current students. Finding the right internship is instrumental in getting the base experience needed to start a career of your choice. Taking part in an internship (or co-op) looks good on your resume and gets you valuable experience in your field.

If you want to make the most of your internship and make a good lasting impression, consider the following:

1) Be Friendly. People are interested in why you are there and what you want to do. During my first internship, I would walk around and talk to a lot of people. This was mainly because my job required me to sort the mail on several floors of the organization. People would approach me and ask about my career goals. I would take the time to talk with everyone and eventually it lead to me being offered a new role within the organization.

2) Be prepared to ask for what you want and articulate your career goals. In most cases, your manager will ask you what you want out of the internship and they will try to accommodate you. Think of skills you want to acquire and areas of their organization you would like to know more about. I made a mistake in one of my internships and didn’t say what I wanted. This lead to a fairly tedious work schedule.

3) Accept that not all the tasks given to you will be exciting. The majority of the time they will give you tasks no one else wants to do, such as filing and photocopying. Always complete the tasks they ask you to do. Many people make the mistake of expecting “meaningful” work at the beginning of their career and they act frustrated or roll their eyes when they aren’t given it. This type of behaviour shows you aren’t a team player and it leaves your coworkers with a bad impression of you. However, you should talk to your manager if you are never given tasks related to your education or career goals.

4) Put in your time. Make sure to come to work on time and stay late if asked. This will show your dedication and good work ethic.

5) Don’t be afraid to ask questions. No one is expecting you to know everything. Your coworkers will be happy to show you how to do basic things around the workplace. Although, you should always write down their answers and take notes while being trained. This will ensure you won’t forget how to do things and it will make you appear more capable. Try to ask other interns or coworkers first before asking your manager.

6) Go to social work events. Always go to events or lunch with co-workers if you are invited. Of course, you don’t have to accept if you are busy, but by going to these events you will create closer connections and make yourself more memorable.

7) Make sure to get your manager’s contact details. When you are close to finishing your internship, you should sit down with your manager and ask them to be a reference. This will help you with future employment and you never know if they may need someone in a few months.

These are just a few things I learned stumbling through my internships. I found that I created lasting connections and good references just by being positive and helpful.

Kyla is Sprott Shaw’s Digital Marketing Intern. She is currently contributing to our blog and wanted to share her experience of being an intern. Kyla has been an intern several times since 2007.

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