How to Get the Most Out of Your Internship
It’s been a little over a year now since we graduated from college, and we’ve been reflecting on what has helped us get to this point in our post-grad careers a lot lately. One thing that keeps coming to mind is our dedication to completing internships. We really made the time for them and even traveled from Philadelphia to New York two days a week one semester (while still taking classes!) to make sure we were setting ourselves up for the greatest opportunities once we entered the workforce. It wasn’t always easy, but it was definitely worth it.
Being an intern isn’t always that great. Sometimes you get stuck doing the “annoying” tasks that no one really wants to do, but they help you figure out the ropes. We’re going to share some tips on the best ways to get the most out of your internship. After all, you want to make sure you leave with a really good idea of the industry you want to work in.
Make Personal Goals
Figure out what you want to get out of your internship. Do you hope to come out of it with a full-time job offer? Are you looking to make strong connections? Whatever it is, begin taking the right steps to help you achieve them. Even if you have to make a list, get clear on what you’re looking for. Carine always wanted to leave an internship as a stronger writer and connect with people she was inspired by. To get that done, she made time to write as much as possible and learned about conducting great interviews by being tasked with transcriptions. She also made sure to set up informational interviews with co-workers- if you don’t know what that is, look below!
Set Up Informational Interviews
This was the most important thing for us at our internships. It can be easy to get stuck in the day-to-day, but you also want to foster relationships and learn from people that are working in the fields you want to be in. As Sabine interned at companies with entertainment publicists, she set up as many interviews as she could to learn something from each publicist. We think it’s best to be prepared with a few questions you’d like to ask, but feel free to flow with the conversation if that fits you more.
I know this seems obvious, but we can’t stress how important this is. There may be days when the redundancy of tasks gets the best of you or you’re just not up to doing that one tedious thing that takes forever. Regardless, always bring your best to the table. You don’t know where an internship can lead and you don’t know who knows who! Even if you’re having the most amazing experience and you look forward to each new day, it’s still good to keep this in mind. Always remember the work you do is a reflection of yourself. People will take notice.
When we were traveling from Philadelphia to New York to fulfill dream internships, you best believe we made sure to work hard every single day we were there. While we wanted to make a good impression and get the most out of our experiences, we also didn’t want to let ourselves down. In the end, we left with a new perspective on what we wanted out of our careers.
Take Time to Reflect
We think it’s important to make time for this in the middle and at the end of an internship. What did you get out of the experience? Is it living up to your expectations so far? It’s an amazing feeling when you feel like you found exactly what you want to do! It wasn’t until Sabine got her first psychology internship in a lab that she realized her heart wasn’t in it at all. If it wasn’t for that internship, she would have never found her way to entertainment public relations and blogging. Make time to do this and we promise it’ll help you figure things out and plan your next steps.
What are some tips you have for getting the most out of your internship? Let us know in the comments!
-Sabine and Carine