When looking for an internship position as a college student or a recent graduate can prove very stressful. Applying to numerous jobs across the web can be trying and it may seem that you will never land an internship. During the search, use mutual connections and personal references to your advantage. The first impression in an interview can make-or-break your future. Even if you do manage to land the position, that doesn’t mean the hard work should stop. If anything it marks the beginning of the real effort.
Read on to find out how to thrive in every aspect of an internship.
1. Research The Company
Prepare for the interview by learning the ins-and-outs of the company and what people you work with.. Figure out what exactly the company does and what you will do to contribute to the company. Being prepared gives you more confidence to thrive during the interview, so do your research. When a recruiter asks the job seeker questions about their company and they struggle to answer, it almost always means that it’s the last conversation you’ll have together. Put yourself in the shoes of a worker for the company. You love the company, and you absolutely love talking about it. Talking with someone else with the same beliefs and aspirations sets an immediate connection which will give you success in the future of the internship.
Besides from making small talk with your colleagues, make the move to get to know the people you work with. Make good connections with the people you meet who also intern there, a boss or any other position. Only talking about business with your co-workers is no fun when you spend so much time with them. Know that the experience is what you make of it. Personally speaking, a fun work environment with good relationships will be much more enjoyable than just going through the motions of your internship.
3. Learn From Your Peers
Use the ones around you who are more skilled and experienced to learn from. To develop skills useful in your industry, you need to pay attention to how others thrive in their work and make themselves stand out. Finding anything that makes you uncomfortable because it helps your growth as an employee.
“Don’t settle for less and don’t allow yourself to just be labeled ‘intern.’ Maintain confidence and demonstrate your skills in front of employees and their superiors to break out of the label and show you are a top tier candidate.” Pennsylvania State University freshman Dylan Ryan said.
Asking questions to those who you’re interning for shows your passion to grow and excel above other interns. Collaborating with your co-workers during projects make your life so much easier. The answers you may have been looking for can be answered by your peers.
4. Dress For Success
Making a good first impression appearance-wise does lots of good things for your potential chances of being hired. Walking in with a nice suit, tie and shoes as well as a head full of confidence sets a good tone for what you bring to the table.
“Make sure that you’re dressed professionally and also make sure that you’re able to show what separates you from other candidates based on your looks.” Pennsylvania State University freshman Zach Fromowitz said.
Obviously, it’s not just about looks that will get you a job. However, looking professional tells job recruiters you’re willing to stand among the other possible candidates for the job. Why not stand out with looks during the one chance you have? Don’t think that dressing nice is all that matters interviews. You need to make sure you carry yourself professionally and have a confident look on your face.
5. Time Management
College students ask themselves, ‘How will I have time for an internship?’ For a for-credit internship, Penn State for example requires you to work 10-15 hours a week to earn two credits a semester. The balance between academics, social life and now an internship causes people to stress way more than you ever should. Make sure to keep a good balance between all three. Don’t commit to one aspect of your college life too much to the point where you forgot the others. Don’t join too many on-campus organizations, don’t stay out late every night and don’t try to fit in the work of your internship if your schedule doesn’t allow.
6. Socialize (to an extent)
When you meet the new members of your company, you feel excited, maybe more exiting for some rather than others, but everyone enjoys it. Zoom, phone calls, text and email is what you use for remote internships nowadays.. Don’t reveal too much personal information to people remotely, as it can spark up awkward interactions. Find a happy-medium with work and personal related things. Talk about hobbies, each other’s lives and how you like to have fun. Only a true friend needs to know about your personal day-to-day life.
7. Take Tasks Seriously
Taking pride in every piece of work shows how dedicated you are. In movies and other forms of entertainment, there’s always that intern who acts as a personal maid for the team. It starts by bringing them food and drinks, but if you don’t do anything to stand out, you will be stuck doing just that. To avoid any form of negative feedback from your boss, put in time for every assignment so they know that you care about the company. Get to know your bosses’ expectations so you can meet them and fulfill them as well.
8. Ask For Feedback
Helping your fellow interns out, asking questions as well as feedback does many good things for your success. People who try to put you down are the ones criticizing you. People you work with improve your skills so don’t take what they have to say for granted.
When someone explains something to you, take that feedback and listen to what they had to say. Maybe they saw what things you weren’t descriptive enough with or weren’t quick enough with when submitting a task. Whatever the feedback may be, use it as growth and learning moments.
9. Keep The Same Mentality
When landing your first ever internship make a good first impression as the new intern. Arrive early, put in extra hours and being the best dressed. Not many keep those aspirations true throughout the course of their internship. Its normal to feel comfortable in an internship after a few months, but don’t settle for the bare minimum in any aspect of your work. Learn to stay disciplined and not be phased by what others may tell you or what you will see from other interns.
10. Be Positive
Be known as the new person in the office that always seems to be in a good mood. Make good relationships with these people because it leads to better things ahead. Being friendly with a worker can give you a good connection, someone to rely on and maybe even a recommendation for a job position.
Be engaged, be yourself and ask questions. Seem like you’re interested so the company you work for knows that you care.” Pennsylvania State freshman David McCrystal said.
Make sure to be on a good status with your supervisor, as they are the ones monitoring your work as well as behavior in the office. Even if you aren’t satisfied with the internship, don’t show it to anyone and make the best of your time working.