While you probably experienced some feelings of accomplishment and excitement when you were told you got the internship, it’s safe to say those feelings often get replaced by nervousness and anxiety. You might think you have this in the bag, and that’s okay, but it’s essential to make the best impression you can and ensure you get the most out of your internship. By the end, you’ll hopefully have made a stunning impression and even potentially be offered a job long-term.
Take the initiative
Too many people get caught up in the ‘could,’ ‘would,’ and ‘should’ of a situation. Sure, it can be daunting to show initiative, after all, it would mean putting yourself out there and making a suggestion, or doing something of your own volition. People worry too much over whether they’re going to make a fool of themselves or get something wrong. You’re a new set of eyes, possibly the pair they have been waiting for all this time, if you notice something, mention it. After all, if you’re curious and asking questions, then they know you’re showing a willingness to learn. Use your judgment to work out when is the right time, but don’t get too caught up in anxieties.
You have to be prepared to do the jobs that you didn’t expect. You may have the internship, but that doesn’t always mean that you’ll be doing the work of your dreams. After all, you’re kind of starting from the bottom and learning the ropes, some tasks are going to be tedious and even tough. Take everything in your stride and be willing to do everything that’s asked of you. Even if you feel like pulling your hair out, maintain a gracious demeanor and show your boss and colleagues that you’re a real team player; not just someone who can write those words on their CV.
Don’t let your ego rule you
Being humble is essential. It almost sounds like an impossible job, after all, we’ve just advised you to be confident and make suggestions. However, no one takes well to an intern who comes across as if they know everything. What they want to see is a keen and capable individual who is ready to listen and learn. Sure enough, it’s easier to do than you might think. The people around you have been doing this a lot longer, and are the people who could even elevate your career; just remember to give them the respect that their position and experience demands.
Network Network Network
It’s important to stress that this is your shot. You got the internship, and you’re going to be surrounded by people in the field who know their stuff. This is your chance to network, make friends, and set yourself up for the future. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be the most charismatic person there, you just need to be willing to ask people about themselves, listen, and keep your body language open. Make an effort to ask people if they want to go to coffee, connect on LinkedIn, or have a chat in the office. It’ll make a massive difference when it comes to the end of your internship, and could even make you an invaluable member of the team.
Internships are the perfect opportunities that could make all the difference to the future. At the same time, if you don’t feel it went as well as it could have, reflect on what went wrong and address it for the future.