Congratulations, you have secured a J Term internship! But, getting the internship is just the first step. Now it’s time to focus on how you can make the most of your four weeks and leave a lasting impression. Remember, the people you work and interact with can provide valuable job contacts, advice, and even great recommendations. Here are some guidelines to maximize your overall experience:
- Maintain a positive attitude
As an intern you may be asked to do tasks that you may consider beneath your talents. This pretty much comes with the position of being an intern (and sometimes as a professional). Stay positive and show that you are willing to do what it takes to the overall mission of the organization.
- Show Respect and Professionalism
Treat everyone in the organization with respect and foster positive relationships with those who could become your mentors. You want to begin your first day demonstrating that you are capable of representing the organization well in public. Respect also means arriving to work and meetings on time (even early!) and dressing appropriately.
- Take the Initiative
If you have finished your projects and have nothing to do, take the initiative to ask your supervisor for more work. Also, see if you can help someone else in the department and make known throughout the office that you are willing to help out. There is always something that can be done–look around! People will notice you, and this will only lead you to gaining further experience and developing new skills.
Many organizations provide interns the opportunity to participate in events to meet other interns, employees, and senior management with the company. This is an excellent way to learn within the organization! Utilize these contacts to pursue informational interviews with people or departments you may have an interest in for the future. If your organization does not provide these structured events, take the initiative to meet other people outside your department.
- Take note of your accomplishments
At the end of your internship write down the things that you have accomplished. Maybe you coordinated a conference, developed marketing materials, gave a presentation, etc. Your notes will come in handy when you are updating your resume and interviewing for future jobs.
Here are some other helpful links for you to check out before you start your internship:
- A New York Times piece about how Internships are growing as a company recruiter tool.