College internships are important because they enhance your resume with invaluable experience and education. Taking on work as an intern helps you realize whether a particular career is really the right one for you.
How you conduct yourself during your internship can help employers decide if you’ll be a great addition to a team. That is why it is important to create a positive impression on your boss and co-workers.
To be a successful intern, here are some tips to consider:
Realize that work is different from school. You can no longer miss deadlines, as it may affect other people who are doing their jobs. Messing around is not an option — you’re supporting full-time employees in their only source of livelihood.
Because of this, it is important to maintain professionalism at all times to avoid bringing a negative impact to the company.
Step outside your comfort zone. Being an intern is a great opportunity for you to take big risks, face your fears and challenge yourself and resolve day-to-day difficulties.
Always take the initiative. If you’re stuck with nothing to do at work, ask yourself what you can do to contribute to the team. If there are no tasks to complete, use the time to learn new things. If you’re proactive, you might be assigned exciting projects that no one else was smart enough to ask for.
Take time to talk to the employees. As an intern, take the chance to meet with other employees as you get to learn the ins and outs of the industry. Ask permission from your superior to make sure it’s appropriate to shadow co-workers, where applicable. Make sure it’s acceptable to ask certain questions. (This is your chance to conduct informational interviews — which may turn into a golden lead for your first post-college job.)
Build your network. Don’t think that you can only network with the higher-ups. See if you can network with your fellow interns and attend after-work events and get-togethers. This will help you grow your network in the immediate future and later on.
Collect reference letters. Don’t just ask your employer to be a reference on your resume. Also ask for a reference letter that can come in handy for future career pursuits.
Manage your relationships. Keep in touch with your employers and fellow interns when you do find a job. Sending a short note once in a while will keep your relationships intact. People will appreciate you and your thoughtfulness.