8 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Internship

Written by one of our Brand Ambassadors, Caitlin Eckley

Summer internships are fast-approaching and it's always a good idea for you to be prepared in advance. If you're hoping to secure your summer placement but are yet to apply, don’t panic, there’s still time. Different companies have different deadline dates, but make sure you don’t leave it too late as companies tend to stop accepting applications towards the end of April.

Research has shown that over 70% of employers offer their interns full-time jobs and almost 80% of students accept these offers. These statistics show how successful internships can be for getting your foot in the door and securing a permanent job in the future, it could even be your dream job! These top tips for making the most out of your internship will hopefully help you to become a part of that statistic.

Before the internship:

✍🏻  1. Prepare

Before you start, reach out to the company you’d like to work with via email to introduce yourself and ask if there is anything you need to prepare beforehand. Ask any questions you have about work timings and what you should expect on your first day. It will show you are organised and the employer will provide you with any prep-work if it's required. 

💻 2. Research 

You will be at a huge advantage if you know what to expect within your new role, so research the company you will be working with, the market and their competitors. Think about what you want to gain from your internship, make it your own! It's a good idea to write a list of goals before you go for the interview of what you’d like to achieve to ensure you make the most of the opportunity and reach your full potential whilst working.

During the internship:

⭐️ 3. Stand out

Make sure you make a good impression, it could help lead you to connections with people who will want to help you succeed further and expose you to other great opportunities for the future. Be sure to complete work to the best of your ability, work well in a team and always be punctual and professional. But, remember to always be yourself! 

☝🏼 4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

You are there to learn and the people who already work at the company are not expecting you to be an expert or fully qualified, they're there to help you. The more questions you ask, the more knowledge you will gain and the more opportunities that may arise for you. By asking questions, it’ll show other colleagues that you are interested in making the most out of this opportunity and seek the potential to progress within your role.

😄 5. Be confident

It can be daunting going to a new workplace without knowing what to expect, but if you do your research and prepare yourself as much as you can, it'll make the experience easier and even more enjoyable!

During your internship, there may be times when you feel stressed and overwhelmed, but don’t forget that you were offered a place to be part of their team and you deserve to be there. You got this! The people you are working with want to help you learn and want you to get the most out of your time with them. Always remember to ask for support if you need it! 

📖 6. Have a contacts book

Wherever you are working, you will meet amazing people that could potentially help you to get a job in the future, so make sure you know how to contact them before your internship is over. Everyone has different contacts, and the more you can get during your internship, the better! LinkedIn is a great way to stay connected with the people you have met on your internship journey.

Whilst on your placement record and keep track of the tasks you’re completing so that you can reflect back at a later date. It’s also good practice to keep a diary or build a portfolio relating to projects you’ve worked on, what you were tasked with and what the outcome was.

After the internship:

📱 7.  Stay in touch 

As mentioned, you’ll meet a variety of people whilst being an intern. Many interns seek permanent jobs within the companies they’re gaining experience from. If you think you’ve found your dream job, make it known! Ensure you stay in touch with your colleagues for any potential opportunities that may arise in the future.

🤔 8. Reflect

Hopefully your internship will help you get one step closer to knowing what you want to do in the future, but it is okay if it does the opposite. 

Don’t be disheartened if your internship wasn’t what you expected because there will be plenty of other opportunities in the future that you will enjoy. It is all about exploring different avenues of work and finding out who you work well with, developing new skills and gaining experience.

With any work experience you do, make sure you update your CV to show future employees the skills and expertise you have gained. 

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