By Amy Sillince
The real aim of an internship should be for the intern to gain something from their experience. However, no internship will be worthwhile unless you decide to make it so. These tips for making the most of your internship should seamlessly take you from your first day to your last and make sure you reap the benefits along the way.
HAVE A CHAT. Chat to the receptionist, the other interns, your boss, the bloke at the photocopier, the person next to you… The list is endless. Ok, so an hour-long chinwag isn’t appropriate but saying “Hello” IS important. You want the people you’re working with to remember you, and making sure that they know you’re there is really the easiest way. By getting to know the people around you, you’ll show a little bit of that wonderful personality that only you know if so fabulous and job-worthy. And remember, too – you never know who you’re chatting to, and who they might be in the future…
KEEP ASKING. It might sound obvious, but it’s so easy to just complete the tasks you’re given and then wait for the next instruction. Most of the people you’re working for are busy all day (they wouldn’t need an intern
if they weren’t!) so they won’t realise you need something else to do unless you tell them. A lot of businesses may have day-to-day jobs for interns to do; however once these are done, then you might be able to move on to the fun stuff… and you never know what you’ll learn with a new task. An employer will always be glad to see that you’re pro-active; so don’t be afraid to interrupt their speed-typing to see what you can help with.
ASK SOME MORE. You’re at your internship to learn something, right? Then make sure you do! Your employer knows that too, so if you’re given a job you don’t quite grasp, ask them. Maybe you want to know the context or reason behind what you’re doing, or how something in your industry works? Maybe you want to know what their role actually is? You’ll look inquisitive and eager and willing to learn, and all of the other qualities that employers like. One day you’ll see all the skills and knowledge you gain come in very handy, so start finding stuff out!
HAVE FUN. Before getting into this, lets just put it out there that conducting yourself in an appropriate and orderly fashion at work is paramount to any “fun-having”. This being said, it’s still important to make sure you enjoy yourself. Consider your internship a really new and exciting experience where there just happens to be some work and learning thrown in. Graciously accept and enjoy any perks that might come with the job (anything from free breakfast to free clothes), make some friends, and do fun and interesting things after work.
SAY THANK YOU. Make it known to your employer that you’ve had a great time. You probably want to be remembered, either for a reference or for any future jobs, so a (highly metaphorical) show-stopping last day is recommended. Blatant bribery isn’t advised, but cupcakes/sweets/chocolates/thank you cards all are. You should aim to put a smile on the faces of everyone in the office that day – so that (here it is again) they remember you.