You’ve Landed that Summer Internship…Now What?
It is an incredibly exciting time; the April snow is gone, students are pushing through exams, and everyone is eager for the break to begin. Summer internships are around the corner and should definitely be what to look forward to. Whether you’ll be embarking on your first real work experience, narrowing down your career path, or trying to catapult your career forward, these opportunities can be extraordinarily valuable. We have compiled a list of things to do to maximize your internship this summer from the day you walk in that door on your very first day.
1) Reach out.
Make sure to contact the company or your supervisor in advance. Find out the company’s dress code and if you should bring any identification or documents (such as your Social Security card for compensation) with you on the first day. It’s definitely a plus if you inquire about what they may advise you to familiarize yourself with before you come in.
2) Research. And do it well.
Don’t just Google-search. Learn the industry you’ll be working in. Speak to people in your field and especially to those you know who have had your position in the past.
3) Familiarize yourself with the company.
Make sure to know the company’s website address, the roles of top management, recent publications and press releases, and most importantly, the business it operates in.
4) Google yourself.
Think about it. Your new employers will most probably (if not already) look you up on Google. Make sure they’ll like what they see or double-check your privacy settings.
5) Remember people’s names.
Write them down. From the security guard in the lobby and secretary at the front desk to your supervisors and division heads, learn their names. It shows how attentive you really are. Plus, people absolutely love to hear their own names aloud.
6) Learn quickly.
Keep the company’s goal in sight. You are there to contribute to their team, not only for your own experience and certainly not only for your resume. Learn the company’s processes as quickly and effectively as you can. (This is where speaking to people who have had your position in the past comes in. Know what to expect.) You’ll be making everyone’s jobs much easier by catching up quickly. Pro tip: bring a legal pad.
7) Whatever you are, be a good one.
Don’t allow that excitement and willingness to learn fade no matter what. Keep the momentum, show commitment to even the most tedious of tasks, and motivate yourself. Maybe you’ll even remind them why they started working there to begin with!
8) Create lasting relationships and don’t forget to speak up!
Wherever you work, you’ll be meeting new people, young and old. Ask questions. Whether they be about career paths or past schooling, people definitely have what to teach. Additionally, keep in mind that you’re still the new guy. Speak up and ask questions to avoid making otherwise avoidable errors.
9) Document your summer.
The days will pass by and you might forget exactly what you’ve worked on, the places you’ve gone, and the people you’ve met. At the end of each day, whether that be on your commute home or before you head out for the night with some friends, document exactly what you’ve done while it’s still fresh. Looking back, it will make all the difference when it comes to the impact you’ve made, which supervisors can include in a letter of recommendation, and updates to your resume.