Kudos to you for doing the hard work to land a summer internship. Before you head to your internship, pay close attention to these 7 ways to shine in your summer internship experience this year. If you do the right things to shine and be outstanding in your internship, there can be several potentially great outcomes. Of course, you could learn a lot about real work but you could also build a professional network, identify a mentor, leave with letters of recommendation for a job well done or even get the ultimate prize – a job offer or the opportunity to return as an intern. This year the National Association of Colleges and Employers report that 60 % of interns got a job offer from their internship employer. All of these things are possible if you make the choice to really shine in the internship.
To stand out and really excel in your internship consider the following tips.
- Take your internship seriously and treat it like it’s a real job. Sometimes interns forget that these opportunities, like campus jobs, are real work that offer non-trivial real work assignments. Employers expect real input. Read – Campus Jobs are Real Jobs Too.
- Let your manager see you already as an employee. Don’t think of yourself as ‘just” an intern. Follow company guidelines and demonstrate your value, even if in small, but obvious ways. Pay attention to company culture, dress code and company policies while putting ideas on the table if possible.
- Use your initiative to ask for new assignments and to work on project teams. Remember, employers know you are there to learn, but they also expect you to contribute. Pulling your own weight is definitely one way to shine in your summer internship
- Do your best work during your internship. Ask questions to clarify assignments and work longer hours if necessary to come up to speed and get your work completed on time.
- Demonstrate your willingness to learn new things and set stretch goals for yourself. Use the internship to understand the business priorities for the organization.
- The summer internship is a great way to build a professional network of people in your preferred industry. Make connections, meet people and do informational interviews to learn about career paths from people who are doing what you want to do.
- Open a LinkedIn account and virtually connect with the professionals you meet. This way you can maintain these contacts well after the internship ends. It also ensures others see you as an emerging professional with interests and goals.
As your summer internship winds down, don’t be shy to ask about entry-level jobs if you are interested. If you shine in your internship, don’t be surprised if the employer approaches you with a potential job offer. Summer internships can be a tremendous opportunity to get a foot in the door, but only if interns know how to really shine during the experience.