February 28, 2017

You Landed The Internship: Now What?

You Landed The Internship: Now What?

Congrats! You perfected your résumé, aced the interview, and finally landed the internship! Now what? An internship usually lasts a few months, so it’s up to you to make the best impression you can. Within this short period of time how can you work efficiently, gain the most knowledge, and network with those around you within the field you are interning in? Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your internship!

Go Above and Beyond
If you want to make the largest impact on a company you need to be willing to go the extra mile and think outside the box. Simply start by displaying your leadership and technical skills. Prove to your employer that they made the right decision by hiring you through your work. Make sure that your work displays your full potential. Samantha Harvey, CCPD’s Graduate Assistant, states from her own previous experience, “Do not be afraid to take on bigger projects.” This shows interests and that you are open to learning more.
Communication is key! Begin communicating by introducing yourself to everyone in the work space. Through this act you can begin developing professional relationships with your employers and co-workers. Do not be afraid to ask questions! Ask if others need help, if there is other work you can do, or anything you are confused about. Show that you are interested by actively listening and being inquisitive. Communicating clearly demonstrates that you are open to learning new things. Remember to stay humble and be receptive to criticism.
Act Like an Actual Employee
Start by acting like a professional by being on time! Take your internship seriously. By doing so, you can leverage into your next internship or future career. Many times interns are left to do small jobs. This may make you feel like you are not an actual employee. However, do not take these jobs any less serious. If you can perfectly complete small tasks, your fellow co-workers and employer will feel confident in trusting you with larger responsibilities.  
Clear communication can lead to networking. Stay in touch with the contacts you have gained from your internship. A good way to maintain these relationships after leaving is to reach out to everyone and thank them! You can even hand write these thank you notes to add a personal touch. This will increase your chances of being contacted in the future.

Overall, trust your gut during your time as an intern. Karen Cover, Pratt’s Assistant Director of Experiential Learning, advises that,“Whether the internship was a positive or negative experience, you come out knowing if you want to pursue that specific part of that field or not.” The whole point of an internship is to gain experience within the work force so make it worthwhile! Good luck!

If you are still looking to land an internship drop by the Career Center for Professional Development for further help!

Written by: Michelle Olivo