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Getting the Most Out of Your Internship

  • Set goals. Before you begin, sit down with your supervisor and establish several realistic goals for your learning experience. Ask, “What results should I be working toward?” Use these goals to evaluate yourself throughout your experience.
  • Know your place. You will be working with professionals who have many more years of experience in the field than you. Remember you do not have all the answers. Communicate respectfully to all employees—those with a college degree, and those without. At the same time, don’t be afraid to share your ideas. Sometimes a fresh perspective is just what your employer needs.
  • Find a mentor. If your employer does not provide you with someone who will coach you and answer your questions, seek out employees who will agree to serve in that role. Building quality professional relationships during your internship is vital to lifelong career success.
  • Take the initiative. Some experiences are well-defined with specific outcomes provided, others are not. In either case, don’t sit back and wait! Your employer will be impressed when you see a problem or issue and address it. When you take ownership in your work, you’ll find it more rewarding.
  • Build relationships. Learning about your chosen field can be an enjoyable experience. Connect with other students and employees both inside and outside of the work environment. Take it upon yourself to organize a er-work social activities if they are not planned for you. Remember to exhibit a strong work ethic throughout your experience, and you will be respected by those with whom you work.