Making the Most of Your Summer Internship
Congrats on securing a summer internship! Besides the daily tasks that you’ll be completing to gain that real-world experience, what else should you be doing to make sure your skills and resume are padded when it comes time for job hunting? We have a few suggestions!
 
Get What You Need From Your Internship
 
At the end of your internship, you do not want to look back and think “Ugh… what a waste!” But as an intern, you may feel like you are just supposed to show up and do what you are told.

Don’t forget that this is your education, your experience, and your future! While you shouldn’t neglect your duties or defy your supervisor, you could try negotiating with them to give you tasks that align with your future aspirations.
 
Sara, Hiring Expert at American Express suggests that “if there is a certain role you are seeking, try working with the company you’re currently interning with to customize your internship to include the work experience that you feel is needed to be competitive.” Ref Link
 
Especially if you have already established a good relationship with the company where you are interning, it can’t hurt to ask. And who knows… maybe showing the initiative to want to learn something new or take on more responsibilities could lead to other opportunities!
 
 
Network! Then Network Again
 
Internships are great because they allow you to get hands-on job experience, learn more about the industry you are interested in, and help you to narrow down your choices for what career is best for you. And to top it off, they expand your network!
 
You’ve been told by every online search, career center, professor, and mentor that you need to be networking. Summer internships are a golden opportunity for that!
 
Make sure to meet and mingle with the people in the company you are interning with, as well as beefing up your social media networks. You will want to update your resume and online profiles with where you are completing your internship and what you are doing, but you will also want to work on building relationships and your network for future references.
 
Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, recommends you update your online profiles and create connections through those updates. “Make sure it is updated, professional, and accurate. Connect with your friends and then look at their connections, adding anyone that may build your virtual network. Follow companies that you are interested in so you can stay abreast of changes, roles that open up, or any new research or products. Last, do your homework before reaching out to someone new to make a connection because you never know when might find something in common that could help you network with more ease.” Ref Link
 
Be Willing to Embrace Change
 
Somewhat contrary to the first suggestion of asking for exactly what you want, you should also be willing to accept new tasks, new perspectives, and be willing to embrace change during your summer internship.
 
Sometimes, we get stuck in our ways and only want to do what is comfortable. Unfortunately, this means that we don’t have an opportunity to grow or challenge ourselves very often, if at all.
 
Luckily for interns, there are usually a wide variety of professionals in charge that have been through the same thing, have worked their way up the ladder, and have managed many people. So when a supervisor asks you to do something new or different, you should be willing to accept the challenge and embrace the opportunity to learn something new.
 
Makailyn, Hiring Expert at Textron points out that “change can be a very good thing! You have the ability to expand upon what you have already learned and show that you are flexible and able to adapt to a variety of settings. It could also broaden your knowledge and expose you to areas of work that you did not have access to yet. You never know what you could discover.” Ref Link
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