How to Optimize your Internship

Congratulations, you have landed your internship! Now seize the moment and get the most out of it. Scroll down and discover our tips on how to optimize this opportunity, regardless of its content or location.


SET UP YOUR GOALS

At the beginning of your internship, set personal goals together with your manager or mentor. Think about why you wanted this internship and what you want to achieve during this experience. Make sure that your goals are SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. You can read more about SMART goals here.


Goals are a great way to gain motivation and to make sure you learn as much as possible in a short period of time. Track the process at the end of each month, for example. These goals provide evidence of what you learned so you can use it to your advantage when searching for a new job.


If you have achieved your goals before the end of your internship, that’s great! Ask for new projects and set up new goals.


CONNECT WITH OTHER INTERNS

Reach out to other interns and connect with them! Sharing experience, insights and knowledge is always a good practice, and you can help each other out.


If there are more interns at the company, try setting up a group if there is none already. With the group, you can schedule weekly meetings to share your knowledge. You can even invite more senior colleagues to share their knowledge and you can learn more about what are their responsibilities and daily tasks.


Therefore you can easily build a broader network, show proactivity, and have some fun. 😊


CONNECT WITH MORE SENIOR COLLEAGUES

It is not recommended to network only with other interns, but with everyone at the organization. As you are interning now at some company, use this opportunity and connect with as many people as possible. Reach out to your colleagues and invite them for a coffee.


Although you might say “Oh, who will have time for me?”, you don’t know until you ask. People love sharing their stories and experience.


Reach out to your colleagues for a 15-minute chat during which you ask a person about their day-to-day work, their career path so far, challenges that they have been facing, etc. Try first with your closer colleagues from your team or department, and then you can ask them with whom you should connect next.


The goal is to learn about a type of work and forge a genuine connection. Networking has never been more easy.


ASK, ASK, ASK

As an intern, employers do not expect you to know everything about the job or industry. Employers believe that students who ask questions are proactive and motivated, and want to learn all they can about the industry.


Set up weekly meetings with your manager or mentor, and use this time to ask anything you want to know. This could be also about work processes, their point of view of a project, or how is a typical way of working in the company.

Use this opportunity and learn from people you admire and are willing to share their knowledge and expertise with you.


You can also ask if you can participate in some meetings you want to listen to, or if you can collaborate on a project that seems interesting.


If you do not ask, your manager or mentor cannot know what you want.


IDENTIFY WHAT YOU DO AND DON'T LIKE

Usually internships are the first real experience working in practice. it is great to discover what you LIKE and DON’T LIKE in a specific field or industry.


It is completely normal to see at the end of the internship that you do not want to pursue a career further in the field. Maybe you discover what you want to do more.


BE ENTHUSIASTIC

Last but not least, show a positive attitude. You will make a good impression on your colleagues if you show enthusiasm and motivation. This can also enchase chances to be hired as a full-time employee after your internship ends. 😊




Photos taken from Pexels.