Making the Most of Your Internship

  1. Don’t be afraid to talk with people. Be respectful of people’s time, but don’t be intimidated because you are a student. Take advantage of your time and build your relationship network.
  2. Ask for things to do. One thing that aggravates any employer is paying someone to do nothing. Take the initiative and ask for additional work if you find yourself lacking in things to do.
  3. Be a SPONGE! Learn all you can about the industry. Talk with a variety of people in the organization to get an overall picture of the industry and the company.
  4. Read everything you can get your hands on. This will help you get as informed as possible about the company and the industry.
  5. Don’t gripe about the grunt work. Everything has a purpose, so learn how the small tasks fit into the big picture.  
  6. Milk the fact that you are a student. As a student, you are not as threatening to fellow employees and most people want to help a student learn.
  7. Hitch the wagon to a star. Seek out the best performers (potential mentors) in the company and find out how they have achieved success. Gain valuable career information from these people.
  8. Get in the information loop (“Circle of Trust”). Decisions are not just made in meetings. Learn where people talk and exchange business information. A word of caution: do not participate in company gossip. That is a sure recipe for future problems.
  9. Ask to attend meetings and events. This will allow you to observe how things really get done.
  10. BUILD bridges; don’t burn bridges. As a new employee, you are not in the position to be able to tell who can or cannot help you in your future career experience.