Summer Internship Preparation: Advice for Before and After Your Start Date
So you’ve snagged yourself a summer position as an intern – congratulations! We can’t praise the process enough, and have dedicated several articles to show employers the benefits of placement programs. The one item we haven’t covered, however, includes tips and tricks to land you (candidates) in an employer’s good books in order to turn this opportunity into the best experience possible. Below, we’ve identified some key points to consider before and during your internship.
Before you start
Learn your industry and company: If you’re new to the industry you will be working in, take the time to study as much as you can. Even if you’ve had exposure before, it is important to stay up-to-date with trends to showcase that you’re invested. The same goes for any company you are going to be working for. Do you know the year the company was formed? Do you know the company’s scope of work? What is the CEO’s name? Study everything you can about the company, services provided, and previous works or projects. The more you know about what they do, and what you are going to do, the better. Knowledge expresses interest, which is appealing to companies looking to add beneficial resources to their team.
Update your wardrobe: Dressing to impress doesn’t stop after the interview. You may have a few items in your current wardrobe that pass as office attire, but investing in additional outfits will only benefit you in the long run. Looking the part is half of the battle. Update your wardrobe to reflect the role you are going to be working in. Companies have dress codes and corporate culture that dictates what is deemed “acceptable” clothing, so kick the sweats to the curb and pick up work appropriate clothing as per your guidelines given to you by your employer. As the saying goes, dress for the job you want, not the job you have!
While you’re there
Never say “no” to more work: Don’t greet more tasks with a bad taste in your mouth – keep contributing to the workforce by trying your hand at different things that get passed down to you. Internships, like all placement opportunities, enable you to gain valuable work experience so you’re better off saying “yes” to new tasks to widen your areas of expertise. Plus, saying “no” if you are capable and free to do more work isn’t the kind of work ethic that you want to portray, as it shows employers that you’re not a team player.
Make friends and find a mentor: A valuable component of internships is networking. Working for a company allows you to meet senior staff members that are more seasoned than you, in addition to rubbing elbows with other like-minded interns that you can learn from. Mentors are beneficial to any work experience because they are your own personal guide for a career or industry. Ask them questions and pick their brains to get as much information as you can.
Take notes: When you’re in meetings with your boss or co-workers, take notes down about your conversations so you don’t forget to complete a task. Plus, keep your ears open to pick up common language used in the office (acronyms, stakeholders, etc.) so you can remember these items for future conversations. Then, when your boss asks you to do something, you will already know what they’re asking for because you made a reminder to familiarize yourself with something. It’ll make a great impression!
Above all, enjoy the moment you’re in and try to take away as much as you can from the experience. These placements provide you with an opportunity to soak up knowledge like sponge – adding to your skill set and giving you a competitive edge that comes with experience. Have fun, and show them what you’re made of!