How to get the most out of your internship ?

How to get the most out of your internship ?

Before graduating or starting a professional job, it is highly likely for a person to go through an number of internships. Internships are a very important experience to have before tackling the job market.

I will not be talking about internships where you need to serve coffee and run errands for them. I will be talking about internships where you are given tasks that match your education or the career you want to pursue.

In this article, we'll discuss how an intern can make the most out of his internship experience.

Be nice and humble

When you enter a new work environment as an intern, you need to be aware of your positioning. You are there to learn from professionals.  Being arrogant is the last thing a person needs from you when trying to teach you few things. Unfortunately, a lot of people miss on opportunities to learn just because of their arrogance.

As an intern, you might be more knowledgeable in some topic, but it wouldn't hurt to listen to how others are doing it first. And if you want to suggest something without risking offending someone, phrase it as a question ( "would it be interesting if we do this.... ?" ).

Ask questions

Do not hesitate to ask questions. Always reach out to your supervisor to ask them about how things work. If you know someone with a job title you consider aiming for later, go see them and ask them about their day to day life. Ask about the state of the job market in specific fields to know what careers to pursue after your internship.

Don't hold back

It's true interns aren't usually well paid. It's true that most of the time the company doesn't expect much from them. Which leads some interns to hold back.

When holding back during an internship, you are hurting yourself more than the company. Holding back keeps you from making mistakes. Holding back will make your internship miserable since you wont be satisfied by the work you do. Push your limits, innovate, try to add value and impact as many areas as you can. Just test yourself. See how far you can go.

Keep track

By the end of the internship, it's hard to reflect on your internship experience when you don't keep track of the history of what you did. You can't see progress without tracking. You might think you are doing a lot but you just feel like it ( and vice versa ).

It's true you can keep the major things in mind, but you'll need more details to talk about in a future job interview or when writing a report for your school.

Stay politically correct

It's very important to understand and feel the politics of a work environment before fully engaging with people. If you don't pay attention you might cause or be part of a conflict without knowing.

During your first few day, pay attention to how people behave and observe the dynamics. Also, avoid talking trash about someone's work or giving an opinion about something sensitive (eg. religion, sexuality). Rubbing someone the wrong way can dangerously play against you.

In this article we discussed few tips on how to get the most out of an internship experience as an intern, we highlighted the importance of being kind and humble along with staying politically correct. We also called attention to the necessity of asking questions and not holding back.

I hope this article added value to you. Please do not hesitate to read more on the blog. Thank you for your time.