Doing an internship is a mandatory requirement for one to graduate in most institutions of higher learning. The importance of doing an internship cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, internships are hard to find and if you are lucky to get one, you will want to make the most out of it. Here are some 5 tips that will help you get the most out of your internship period.
1. Set The Tone
From your first day in the office to the last day of your internship, your supervisor might not talk to you besides a casual hi or bye. This might be because they do not know your attitude towards work. As a result, you will end up reporting to the office every morning and learning nothing. It is up to you to set the mood, show them who you are, what you like or what you do not appreciate. Ask your supervisor what she or he is working on and how you can help. If you have a certain skill, this is your chance to show off.
2. Ask Questions
If you need clarification on how to perform a certain task, do not hesitate to ask questions no matter how obvious it might seem. Asking questions demonstrates enthusiasm to learn and intellectual curiosity something that supervisors appreciate.
3. Be Disciplined
The internship is a time of your life when your patience is most put to the test. You need to learn how to bit your tongue or restrain yourself when someone asks you to fetch him/her a cup of coffee. Sometimes they want to test how far you can bend. However, if you feel like a certain task is not beneficial to your experience, politely let your supervisor know. Discipline and manners can never go out of style.
4. Adopt A Solution-Oriented Mindset
In most instances, office politics or a lack of objectivity often hinder employees from introducing new ideas, commenting on or reporting a situation or a way of working that is not right. As an intern, you are highly likely to look at situations without bias and notice that a new way of working needs to be introduced. This is an opportunity for you to be creative, write a good proposal introducing your new idea on how the situation might be improved. If your idea is adopted by the organization, you can note it down on your CV as an achievement.
5. Build A Network
Internships not only gives you industry exposure but also helps you connect and learn from the people who are more experienced than you. It is important that you learn how to network and maintain contacts with these people so that you can interact even after the short internship period. There are interns who got good jobs after internship and maintained valuable contacts while there are others who could barely get a recommendation letter after their internship. The difference between these two categories of people is how they treated people around them and how they made use of this valuable opportunity.
This article was written by Capital Campus Correspondent Gladys Njoroge.