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!
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!
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
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
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