Via Inc : 9 Things Every Intern Must Make Sure to Do
Want to make the most of your internship opportunity? Don’t skip these important steps.
If you’re a summer intern, your internship may be ending in the next few weeks. If you’re a fall intern, your internship may be about to begin. Or maybe you’re planning on an internship sometime in the future.
One way or another, you need to know: How can you get the most benefit out of your internship? Make sure to leave the best impression? What should you make absolutely sure to do before the internship is over?
Inc.com put this question to a large crop of current and former interns, many of whom had just landed jobs at the companies where they interned. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Make sure you have a goal.
Yes, your goal is to successfully complete your internship, impress your supervisors, and perhaps land a job offer. But you also need your own personal development goals about what you will learn and accomplish during the internship.
Once you’ve figured out what those goals are, share that information with your manager, advises Julia Landon, intern at communications agency Hotwire. “You’ll go so much further if everyone’s on the same page,” she says.
2. Ask lots of questions.
This one piece of advice got repeated over and over–some former interns even said they wished they asked more questions while they had the chance. “No question is a stupid question,” says Melina DiMambro, marketing and research intern at JMJ Phillip Executive Search. “This experience is to help college students get a glimpse of what an office job looks like since there isn’t class in college that teaches you what being in an office is like. If you don’t know how to do something, ask! If you want to know more about why someone chose to do something in a certain way, ask!”
In fact, there’s a definite danger in not asking enough questions, says Yasmeen Arami, PR Intern at Shift Communications. “Asking how to do something and doing it right is a lot better than doing something wrong, and having to redo it. Your superiors will wonder why you didn’t ask for direction to begin with.”
3. Request more responsibility.
While you’re asking questions, some of your questions for your immediate supervisor should include questions about increased responsibilities you can take on, career paths in your industry, and what you need to do to land a permanent job at the company if that’s your goal.
“I’d definitely advise interns to find some way to do hands-on work with their company’s main product or service, especially if they were working on something separate,” says Peter Svartz, intern at advocacy software company Phone2Action. “If you’re directly contributing to the company’s output, you create a costly gap when you leave. Find as many opportunities as possible to integrate your work with your employer’s bottom line.”
4. Take notes. All the time.
“Constantly hand write notes,” advises Paolo Garland, intern at Jill Schmidt PR. “This is the best way to impress your supervisor because you will be able to look back and go over what has previously been talked about and you can help remind people what was discussed, especially on conference calls.”
5. Meet as many people as you can.
Current and former interns all said you should take advantage of as many opportunities to network as you possibly can. That means joining the rest of the team at after-work functions, attending industry events as often as possible, and meeting one-on-one with both management and peers at your company–even those who work outside your chosen area. Make sure to connect on LinkedIn with everybody you meet so you can stay in touch and make contact in the future.
Don’t limit your networking efforts to upper executives, advises Lauren Holbrook, who completed an impressive seven internships before becoming account coordinator at Matter Communications this spring. “While sitting down with company executives can be fun and insightful, it’s just as important to connect with the entry and mid-level employees. These are the jobs you will end up in next, and these employees can provide valuable feedback to elevate your work beyond what’s expected of an intern.”
6. Be totally professional.
Many interns reported that it can be a shock to college students when they encounter the expectations of the professional world. “At school, if you don’t do your homework, no one is impacted by that except you,” says Sara Ahmed, intern at Leadership Africa in Washington, D.C. “But if you don’t finish a task at work, that can put off a lot of people’s schedules. It could impact a client.”
In addition to completing work on time, experienced interns advise: Stay off your phone and social media during your workday; dress very professionally–ideally for the job you aspire to; and always, always be on time or early for work. If an emergency arises that forces you to be late, make sure to contact the office as soon as you can.
7. Learn when to speak up and when to step back.
It’s a delicate balance. Most interns recommended learning to speak up in meetings, raise your hand to take on new projects, and voice an opinion that can help you stand out in your colleagues’ and managers’ minds. On the other hand, there are many times when it’s better to listen and learn.
“My supervisors commended my ability to both rise to the challenge and to recognize when it was time to step back,” says Chelsea Bendelow, who just started a job as account coordinator at Sage Communications after completing her internship. “This is not meant to disregard the importance of initiative, but reinforce the value of an intern who is capable of learning and growing from the experiences of others rather than constantly proving their competency. The individuals you work alongside have invested years, sometimes decades, into their careers and you are just getting started.”
8. Build a portfolio.
“If I could go back as a brand-new intern, I would take the time to track my impact,” Holbrook says. “Identify expected key metrics from your contributions as an intern and track those numbers regularly. For example, identify the percentage increase of how you drove social media engagement, business revenue or volunteer recruitment from day one. These statistics add immeasurable value to your portfolio for future career opportunities.”
If you’re not sure exactly how your work contributed to the bottom line, then ask. It’s always a good idea to find out how your specific work fits into the bigger picture of your organization’s goals.
9. Say ‘Thank you.’ A lot.
Many current and former interns recommended going out of your way to thank the people you work with for the opportunity, as well as thanking clients, co-workers, and anyone else you worked with along the way. Many recommended handwritten thank-you notes as a great way to let people know that you really appreciate what they’ve done to help you. “Be thankful and be genuine!” advises Anya Mourovannyi, associate account executive at Antenna and five-time former intern. “People will rarely remember what you did or said, but they will most likely remember how you made them feel.”
Via Youth Incorporated : Easy Hacks To Ace Your First Day On The Job
The first day at a new job or an internship can be quite nerve-wracking and stressful. You might have been in this line for a long time but a change in locations and people can naturally make you nervous. For long we have been taught about the importance of first impressions, the quotes on this issue might seem to have been reciprocated over and over but they still stand firm. The first impression should be your best impression as most people are going to retain this impression of you for a long time.
Here are a few hacks to make sure you rock your first day.
Show up on time:
Punctuality can speak volumes about your dedication to a job. Showing up an hour early than required might be overkill but 15 minutes before your appointment might be the sweet spot. Making your appointment wait on you is not going to set a good impression. Mapping out the best route to get to your place of work before-hand is a smart move. Planning your commute can let you keep a check on when you should leave and how long it will take you to get there. Another tactic you can use is to do a test run on a weekday. Just to let you know what the traffic is going to be like and to get you accustomed to the commute, this way on your first you won’t be rushing around, confused and will know exactly what to do.
Research your office and coworkers:
This is a very crucial manoeuvre to ensure a smooth first day. Similar to how you might google new people before meeting them face to face, researching your place of work and your co-workers could help you out. Research into your place of work, it’s business interests or maybe its recent successes and losses exhibit your interest and dedication. This research will also help you in developing good working relationships with your colleagues. This does not mean cyberstalking people, it is only to give you points to talk about, with people with relevant interests so you can connect with them better. A good conversation on your first day will make sure people remember you and be open to connecting with you.
Ask all your queries:
On your first day don’t lean toward “fakin’ it till you make it”, this is an overrated piece of advice. Ask all your questions and take notes. The more information you get, the better. The company expects you to know a lot of stuff down the line and rather than risking it later, get all your questions cleared upfront before it’s too late. Whilst some may consider it embarrassing to question your colleagues on the first day, this might set a great example and will act as a testament to your dedication to the job and also showcase your humility. Your questions could range from figuring out the company’s network access and software access to the coffee situation in the college. This will also leave you feeling a lot more relaxed, you won’t have to be worried about new situations as they keep popping up.
Network over meals:
A meal with your colleagues can be the most redeeming experience. On your first day if you’re lucky enough, accept that lunch invitation from your colleagues or your boss. Talking to people over a meal builds a bond that is only going to help you in the future. Lunch is a great opportunity to connect with them over a more casual setting. Observe and remember the discussions and the people this will make it easier for you to identify who to approach for what.
Stay prepared to work hard:
On the first day of the job, your assignments might become unpredictable. A few bosses might like to start you off by dunking you into the deep end of the pool. This means they might throw you in the fire on your first day of the job to test how you work and if you break under pressure. On your first day, you need to be prepared not just physically but also mentally to handle the work and prove your mettle, but at the same time, it’s equally important to set boundaries during your initial days. Setting boundaries is important to prevent burnout. Burnout will result in you becoming underproductive. You need to keep checking in with yourself and make sure you don’t take on more than you can finish.
The first day at a new job whilst nerve-racking is also an opportunity for you to reinvent yourself. Set new routines, pick up something you’ve wanted to do for a long time but haven’t been able to. It gives you the freedom to discover new possibilities. You can ace your first day at work with just a couple of tips and keeping an open mind, the rest is going to be a breeze.
Via Forbes : 5 Ways To Optimize Your Internship Experience
At least 80% of us want purpose in our work and having an internship during college is the most powerful way to get there, according to research we recently conducted at Bates College with Gallup. That said, an internship is only as transformational as we make it. Days filled with repetitive tasks and limited interactions are less likely to yield the meaningful future we all desire.
Here are five steps you can take to optimize your internship experience, regardless of its content or location:
1. Connect With Other Interns
While some internships offer a built-in cohort of fellow interns, most sites host only one intern at a time, which can lead to lonely, boring days at work. Even if your full-time co-workers are warm and personable, talking with people in your exact stage of life is irreplaceable.
At Bates College, we offer a virtual platform to connect our Purposeful Work Interns around the world. This provides the chance to vent shared frustrations, brainstorm ways to handle common obstacles, and generally feel less alone throughout the internship process.
If your school doesn’t offer that opportunity, you can create it for yourself:
- Contact the Career Development office at your school and ask for a list of interns working in your geographic region or industry.
- If they can’t provide this list, use LinkedIn.com/alumni to find current students who have “intern” in their title, regardless of their geographic location. Reach out to those who seem most relevant to you – either because of shared industry or similar activities and interests – and ask whether they’d consider keeping in touch during the internship experience.
- If neither of those avenues pan out, you can simply ask your friends who are interns – regardless of their college – to create a virtual group.
Once you have a group assembled, create a schedule for sharing insights and feedback, either asynchronously (e.g., in a social media group) or on a phone or video chat at a set time. Whatever approach you choose, be sure to connect weekly in order to maintain momentum and build trust.
2. Master The Art Of The Informational Interview
Informational interviews are 15- to 20-minute chats during which you ask a person about their day-to-day work and solicit advice about your next steps. The goal isn’t to land a job but rather to learn about a type of work and forge a genuine connection.
While interning, you have a treasure trove of people around you who are eligible for excellent informational interviews. Even if the organization where you’re interning is quite small, there are likely other organizations close by, all filled with people who would be more than happy to have a coffee chat with you.
It tends to feel awkward to ask for informational interviews at first, but there’s literally no better time to get comfortable with the process. The very title “intern” denotes your openness to learning and your lack of certainty about the future, making others eager to support you.
3. Reflect On Your Experience Regularly
An internship can provide powerful insights while we’re immersed in it, but we tend to lose track of our own “a-ha” moments if we don’t make the time to capture our thoughts. Thankfully, the structure an internship creates in your day-to-day life is perfect for scheduling time to reflect. Carve out time to reflect weekly, near the end of the work week but not so late on Friday that you’re too tired to care. It only takes fifteen or twenty minutes to reflect thoughtfully.
During your reflection time you might do any or all of the following:
- Briefly document your major tasks, interactions, and insights from the preceding week.
- Write about connections you see between your internship and your coursework. In what ways has coursework prepared you well? What do you want to know more about?
- Journal in response to specific questions about your experience. We provide our Purposeful Work interns at Bates College with a weekly prompt, such as “What is one challenge you are facing right now? What is one way you might handle it?” You can find internship reflection questions online, such as from Wake Forest University or the Metropolitan State University of Denver, or brainstorm some with your intern cohort (see Step 1 above).
- Make note of some goals you’d like to work toward in the next week, which might include asking for an informational interview with a co-worker, trying out a new task, or exploring a new area of the city during lunch.
4. Identify What You DO Like
Unfortunately not all internships are wonderful experiences. When an internship is less-than-stellar, it’s tempting to discount the entire experience and simply “move on” – but that’s a big mistake.
I nearly did this myself after my first year in college. A physics major, I accepted a tech internship that ended up boring me to the core. When I returned to campus in the fall, my academic advisor didn’t let me throw away the entire experience, as much as I wanted to.
“Even though you didn’t like what you did and didn’t feel at all connected to your co-workers,” she said, “what did energize you, even in the slightest?”
“The commute,” I said without hesitation. I explained that I was fascinated by the variety of people I met on the train and at the newspaper stand and constantly found myself wondering what made them tick.
“Why not take a Psychology class then?” my advisor asked.
A change of major and complete shift of career followed.
5. Practice Making The Most Of Your Days
Finally, an internship isn’t just about work. Internships should be a full experience of working with meaning, which includes making the most of time beyond the office as well as within it. Meaning is created moment-by-moment; therefore, making a point of sharing a smile with the bus driver on your commute, using your lunch hour to explore nearby cultural opportunities, and carving out your evenings for activities that truly fill your well can all make for more meaningful, richer days.
If you practice intentional meaning-making while interning, you’ll be well positioned to create that type of life after you earn your degree, both at work and beyond.
Via G2 : How to Find Internships That Don’t Suck (+6 Internship Horror Stories)
There are plenty of internships out there – how do you find one that doesn’t suck?
What makes an internship worth your time? A good internship prioritizes your professional development and offers you the chance to gain real world experience before entering the workforce. But those are just the bare minimum requirements for an internship. How do you find an internship that inspires you and challenges you to grow? We have your complete guide for how to find internships that suck, and advice on how to avoid them!
How to find internships
There are a lot of bad internships out there, but what makes an internship bad? A lot of things. A bad internship can be an internship where you don’t learn anything or an internship where your hard work is unappreciated. At its core, an internship sucks when you feel like you’ve wasted your time.
To understand how to find internships, first you need to know what an internship is.
What is an internship?
An internship is an opportunity offered by a company, usually to undergraduates or college students, to gain real world working experience. It is a mutually beneficial relationship between the intern and the employer where interns are offered the opportunity to gain technical experience before graduating.
Internships are for the benefit of both the intern and the company. Even as an intern, your time, knowledge, and experience are valuable. An important part of finding an internship that doesn’t suck is to remember that you are a valuable asset to the team.
So, how do you find an internship with a company that values what you bring to the table? We’ve put together five easy steps for how to find internships that don’t suck. Check them out.
1. Decide what you want out of an internship
The first step to finding an internship is to decide what you want out of an internship. The best way to do this is to sit down and write a list of things your dream internship would have. Is it a paid internship? What do the hours look like? What industry are you hoping to target?
Once you create a list of things your dream internship would have, split the list into wants vs. needs. This will get you thinking about the type of internship you want and what criteria you should look for during your search.
What questions should you be asking yourself about your dream internship?
It’s important to pinpoint the absolute necessities you want from your internship. Some things you should consider asking yourself could be:
- Is this internship paid?
- What are the hours I’d be expected to work?
- Does it offer college credit?
- Is this company in a field that’s relevant to my degree?
- Does this company have a good reputation?
- Do I need a car for my commute?
Be as thorough as you can during this part of the process. The more questions you answer during this step, the fewer questions you’ll have later.
2. Do some digital sleuthing
There isn’t a single company in the world that’s going to tell you outright that working for them sucks. That’s why you need to become a modern day Nancy Drew and learn everything you can about the company you’re applying to intern with.
How should you research companies you want to intern for?
- Start by reading the reviews on websites like Glassdoor
- Find their profile on social media
- Reach out to other people who have interned there
- Google the company and see what pops up in the news
You might be surprised by what you can find from an hour of digital sleuthing. Oftentimes, you can dig up information about the company from former employees or interns. The company you’re applying for might have a handle on their brand image, but genuine online reviews can’t be erased.
3. Make them want you
The best way to find an internship that doesn’t suck is to make the best companies fight over you. Remember, your expertise and time are valuable! Create a list of all your best qualities and be ready to showcase those when you interview. Everyone has something that makes them unique. It might be tough to find what sets you apart at first but once you do, you’ll be unstoppable.
What skills can set you apart from other interns?
- Speaking more than one language
- Knowledge of technical software e.g. Adobe Suite
- A portfolio of your work e.g. photography, writing, video, etc.
- Community service or volunteering
- Experience in a weird or unique field
These are just a few ideas to get your brain working. Creating a list of your best qualities might feel like bragging but it will actually help boost your confidence. Remember, an internship is a mutually beneficial relationship. You have something they want!
Companies shouldn’t be intimidated by your confidence and if they are, they’re not the sort of company you want to work for. Stick to your guns and show them why you’re the best choice for the job. A good company will see your passion and be inspired by it.
4. Get specific with the details
The most important part of finding an internship is getting the details about what your internship will entail. There’s nothing more defeating than having an internship that doesn’t give you anything to do or ends up being different than it was advertised.
When you’re interviewing for an internship, don’t be afraid to flip the script and interview the company. It will show that you know what you want. It can also give you answers on whether or not this is the right fit for you.
What questions should you ask when interviewing for an internship?
- What will my day-to-day responsibilities be?
- What team will I be working with?
- What clients will I be working with?
- What am I going to be learning here?
- Who is my direct supervisor?
- What’s the plan to ensure I don’t have downtime during my internship?
If the company you’re interviewing with can’t answer these questions – run. Any good company will have put time and effort into thinking about the questions listed above. You don’t want to work for a company that hasn’t thought about why your professional growth is important.
5. Know how to walk away from a bad offer
There’s a very real possibility that you could advance deeply in the interview process and then decide the opportunity isn’t right for you.
Don’t be afraid to turn down a bad offer. If you decided that you need an internship that won’t make you work weekends and the company suddenly tells you that you might work weekends, don’t take the offer. Companies might try and take advantage of your inexperience and you shouldn’t let them. Stand up for yourself and know when to walk away.
As a college student, you have limited time that you can intern before you enter the workforce. Be selective with who gets access to your time. Not only with this save you from a bad internship, it will teach skills for how to professionally decline opportunities.
But are internships really necessary?
The answer is unsurprisingly, yes. Last year Time wrote an article claiming that internships are actually replacing entry-level jobs. It’s becoming more common for employers to expect new graduates to have the skills needed to step into a new role without much training.
The good news is that internships are beneficial for college students as well. Let’s take a look at just a few of the benefits of interning:
Whether or not it’s fair to new graduates to expect them to have internship experience is still up for debate. Until the debate is over, it is to your advantage to stack the deck in your favor by completing an internship before you graduate.
How bad can a bad internship get?
In order to help you understand why it’s important to avoid bad internships, we asked some of our colleagues at G2 to tell us about some of their worst internship experiences.
All names have been removed, but the stories are as real as it gets.
The work I was doing was boring and thankless
“I worked an unpaid internship in NYC doing public relations work in the fashion industry. My job responsibilities included running personal errands for my boss, organizing her office and doing her expenses. It wasn’t really a nightmare experience, but it was very frustrating to not be paid, on top of only being given mostly administrative work.”
They canceled my internship the night before it started!
“I’d secured an internship doing marketing work for a nonprofit and was really excited. Everything was going smoothly until the night before I was supposed to start. The email told me and the other two interns that they were cancelling the program because they couldn’t manage all of us. And before you ask, yes, the internship was unpaid.”
The company lied about the work I’d be doing
“I joined a sales development ‘training program’ that was supposed to improve my management experience and improve my skills. But when I got there I found out that it was really just outsourced door to door sales for a local internet provider. Unpaid, of course.”
The company I worked for wasn’t sensitive to my personal tragedy
“I once interned at a company that sent me to ‘resilience training’ after a close family member of mine was murdered. Apparently my manager didn’t like people being sad at work. That was fun.”
They made me foot a $1,000 bill and told me to be thankful for the experience
“I had a company never reimburse me more than $1,000 for business expenses/travel. They responded it was implied that I’d be covering everything for myself and that it wasn’t their responsibility – even though it was something they tasked me with. It was an unpaid internship. They were under the impression I should have been grateful to have the opportunity to get experience there.”
They treated me like a full-time employee, but didn’t pay me like one
“I did a teaching internship at the community college level for the English department while I was in a full-time grad school program, and working another 20/hr a week job. It was unpaid but they had me doing all the work of a real teacher, observing, teaching, grading, and consulting with students on my own time.
“It was a lot of work for no pay. I felt like they expected so much of me, but couldn’t be bothered to compensate me for all the work I was doing for them. It was the perfect mix of high-expectations, no pay, early hours, and no appreciation for the work I was doing.”
Don’t settle for an internship you’ll hate
A bad internship can be worse than no internship at all. Knowing how to spot the signs of a bad internship will help you find an internship that you’ll love.
Via New Day Live : Is internship opening the doors in your career in 2019?
There is no big hidden secret about the tight situation prevailing in the job market. Particularly if you are trying to enter a new arena or have just stepped out of college or are getting into the employment sector the initial time, it can be challenging to display the adequate skills that you might need to survive in the industry. Most bosses are looking for some proof that you can survive in the market without a downfall. During such times, Internship opportunities can help you a lot to sustain in the industry and can serve as proof.
Most of the times, these internship opportunities turn out to be a job for you if you do them right. The employer sees the internship period as a “testing” period, where they evaluate not your technical skills, but also your ability to work as a team. Every person you work together with all through an internship is a prospective means who can help you get into your dream job.
Boosting your chances of getting employed
An internship supports you improve the understanding of the actual sphere of work and creates a cognizance of your abilities and talents. Earning a degree may be a great while, demonstrating the skills that you have acquired are more than essential when you get into a job. In the present financial environment, companies are beholding for pertinent capability who can equally demonstrate both intellectual skills as well as ‘soft skills.’ Internship experience highlights to companies that the candidate have some knowledge about employability skills.
Easy way to get recommended
For instance, if you are looking out for some Internship in Thailand, yet another way is to get recommended. An expert assuring for you gives you a chance to stand out and get noticed from other candidates. An internship provides you such prospect to ascertain yourself to coworkers who can produce wonderful references.
Employers in the current employment market depend profoundly on resumes that exemplify a relevant work experience from internships, unpaid worker, or genuine work experience. Applied work experience demonstrates the main implication when trying to go into the job market. An important point to remember is that not only businesses compete with each other, but also people do to get into an appropriate job. So it is always advisable to sit back and take a second to ponder about it. Being an intern is possibly the most beneficial strategy of action. That one internship can change your life and put you in a place you never imagined to be.