Just having an internship provides a great boost to your resume, but if you really want to make yourself competitive in the job market, you need to make the most of the opportunity. In most cases, you can improve your internship experience by being proactive. Try the following techniques to make sure your time as an intern gives you the best possible footing for your career.
– Be clear about your expectations. One of the ways you can dodge a bad internship from the beginning is by laying out what you hope to accomplish before you even get there. Be open with your supervisor about your goals for the summer, but also be realistic. You should expect to spend up to half of your time doing menial tasks.
– Earn your employer’s trust. Interns often need to prove themselves before an employer will entrust them with the kinds of projects that will help them learn the most. So even if you spend your first couple of weeks doing boring jobs, make sure you complete these tasks thoroughly and conscientiously. Once you’ve done a great job on the work you’ve been assigned, follow up with your supervisor and ask politely for more interesting projects.
– Network. Meeting people in the industry you want to join is one of the biggest benefits of interning, and you should take full advantage of it. Set a goal of meeting at least 25 people you don’t directly work with during your internship. Beyond that, try to establish at least a few close professional connections.
– Go above and beyond the call of duty. If you work harder than the full-time employees, even if that means staying late or coming in on a weekend, people will notice. Your chances of being hired for a full-time position will increase accordingly.