As difficult as it is to find an internship, once you have found one, the real work begins! The need to prove your abilities and execute all roles and responsibilities of your internship, is imperative! You want to make an awesome impression. An internship proves your experience to a future employer, the use of references from an internship can stand for a lot during the job-hunt. The only way to receive a GLOWING reference, is to become a positive member of the working team. There is a lot of helpful-tips on the internet (if you do your research) regarding the best ways to get through your internship and to achieve success. To save time, I have done the research for you, and have created a list of things to remember and try, when completing any form of internship, volunteer or work experience opportunity.
- Ensure your employer and yourself have the same understanding of the opportunity. Everyone involved in your internship should share expectations and ideas regarding the opportunity, E.g. Your responsibilities and jobs, times and dates and the duration of the opportunity.
- Request for regular meetings with your supervisor/manager during your time as an intern. This provides an environment where you can monitor that all parties’ expectations are being met, and you can also receive feedback regarding your abilities and work-performance.
- Always be on time! Better yet, be 10 minutes early. If for some reason you are going to be absent or late, ALWAYS call or email atleast an hour before you are expected at work. This is being professional.
- Use the ‘transition’ and ‘introduction’ period of your internship well. Ask as many questions as you can, learn as much as possible. Not only will it demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the position, but it will allow you to gain a better understanding of the business and the role.
- Dress, speak, write, listen and behave like a professional, at all times. No one will hire the intern that acted like a fool.
- Develop all relationships with co-workers and managers, by being polite, a helpful employee and by being a positive team-member. You never know when one of your co-workers could be in a position to hire you! Leave the best impression you possibly can, you never know when it will pay off.
- When your internship is over, always request a reference! A reference is an invaluable document to keep and use when applying for jobs. It’s best to request one ASAP, you don’t want to wait 6 months as the employer will most likely not be totally accurate, by then. Trying to stay in touch with an internship employer is always a positive, as well. It’s all about ‘who you know’!