Grow in an Awful Internship and Turn It Around for the Better

Internship TipsTired of data entry, copying and cleaning up after events? Perhaps you’re just tired of getting coffee for your boss or sitting in front of the computer all day. Make the most of your internship — no matter how seemingly worthless it is.

There are several ways that you can turn the experience to your advantage, even if you feel like you’re just wasting your time. Make your internship a way to build your career path in the future.

Socialize in and out of the office. Participate in different social events, whether work-related or not. Talk casually with other co-workers and develop a relationship after hours. They may have contacts they recommend you meet.

Get involved more. If you think you’re not doing anything fruitful in the office, feel free to ask your supervisor if you can be more involved in different projects. Taking initiative gives you more opportunities to learn about the company and how to handle different situations in your profession.

Find a mentor. You don’t really have to ask someone to be your mentor. All you have to do is find someone that you look up to in your field of expertise and observe how he or she works. You can set up a coffee or lunch meeting and ask advice about different issues that can occur down the line.

Take action to find opportunities on your own. Ask your colleagues how you can help. This will help you be more proactive in every job that you do. It also helps build your profile. Your supervisor may even recommend you to a company, or hire you. Make yourself known, but don’t forget your limits. You don’t want to go over anyone’s head and be a know-it-all.

Appreciate your internship. Think of the positives. Make a list of your internship’s pluses, including the knowledge you have gained and the contacts you have made. Write down all the people you have met. Think of something each person has taught you.

Literally write it all down. Living in a busy world, we can forget what we learned two days ago. Avoid this by keeping a list of all the things you’ve learned in the company. This can help you in your general job search, help you identify different company cultures (and whether you fit) and make better job decisions.

These tips should help you look at your internship in a different light. It is important to make the most out of your experience to help you build your career in the coming years.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.