How To Make The Most Of Your Internship

By Natalie Boesch
In Culture

Internships aren’t all about going on coffee runs or developing an alarmingly tight relationship with the copy machine—unless you let them be. Here are five ways to make your internship meaningful and applicable to your career goals.

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Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam/ Unsplash

1/ Network With Coworkers
Talk to the people you work with. Find commonalities with your coworkers in and outside of the workplace. By the end of your internship, you’ll have at least one direct connection to influential people in your city and, hopefully, a larger group of friends.

2/ Stay Positive and Open-minded 
As an intern, you most likely won’t enjoy everything you’re asked to do. There are aspects of almost every job that are tedious, bureaucratic and/or repetitive. Don’t let the tasks you didn’t expect to be doing cloud your perspective. A negative attitude will show up in your work and leave you jaded.

3/ Take Initiative
If you overhear your coworkers talking about something that needs to be done, offer to help them. If there’s an off-site project, such as a photoshoot or an interview, ask if you can go along. Even if you’re unable to help or tag along to observe, showing everyone that you’re willing to go the extra mile will boost the company’s confidence in you. Also, taking initiative will teach you more about the field you’re working in than staying in the background.

4/ Know Your Worth
Always remember that you are relieving some pressure from the permanent staff by taking on duties that crowd their calendars. If you weren’t there, your employer’s job would be more stressful. Keeping your worth in mind makes it easier to complete the tasks mentioned under #2. Plus, maintaining a mindset focused on the value you bring to the company will help you communicate more confidently and effectively.

5/ Take Your Work Home With You
Think about your internship even when you’re not working so that you can come prepared with new ideas. The business world is constantly changing, so a fresh, well thought-out perspective is invaluable to any company.

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