Firstly, well done. Getting an internship isn’t easy so you need to make the most of it. I was lucky enough to get my first internship this summer. Although I have only been doing it for a few weeks I’ve thought of some ways to make the whole experience fun and keep my mind away from the boring parts. Put these into practice and you won’t be describing your internship as boring or long.
1) Approach your internship like it’s a full-time job and you’re getting paid.
Some but not all internships are paid, the closest form of remuneration you’ll get is reimbursement of your travel and food expenses. Nonetheless, the lack of a wage should not hinder your commitment or motivation to your internship. You may not be getting paid but you’re getting something else, experience! In this competitive graduate marketplace, experience counts for a lot. The lessons you learn, the skills you pick up, and the connections you make will put ahead of your competition. These days it’s not about what you have to show on paper. Additional experience is necessary for you to be a suitable candidate. Furthermore, my point about working as though you’re in a full time job means you should put in all the effort you can possibly muster, it won’t go unnoticed. After all, your boss will usually be grateful for your help and in return may land you a permanent position at the company.
2) Pay attention.
Your bosses are teaching you something valuable, outside of the lecture, theatre or seminar room. Your internship might even be more important than what you do learn in those rooms. You’re getting the first-hand experience of what it is like to be an important figure in the career you wish to be a part of. So, pay attention!
Talk with your boss, talk about your tasks, or talk about what you did over the weekend. Better yet, ask what they did over the weekend. If your boss says they’re going way, ask how their trip was. Being able to engage in conversation with your boss will kill any awkwardness you may feel, and help you to ease into it slowly though as you don’t want to come across too strong or not strong enough. It’s always good to follow up on what your boss says. It will show your listening skills and demonstrate your curiosity. Remember though, not every moment has to be filled with a sentence but it does do a world of good for setting the tone for the remainder of your summer internship.
4) Ask how you can help.
If your boss doesn’t give you tasks, ask what you can do. If you don’t ask how you can help, it may look like you’re not interested. You should take the initiative, it shows commitment to the internship. You don’t want to appear closed off so don’t be. Be approachable and flexible. Don’t assume the tasks you were given yesterday will be the same as tomorrow. You’ll be dipping your feet into different pools of water, just roll with it.
5) Keep track of your daily activities.
This is helpful for outlining what responsibilities you’ve had throughout your internship. You’ll want to be able to detail and explain what you’ve done in front of potential employers and when you need to update your CV. I usually write into a notebook and document what I do each day, this is also good for seeing how varied your tasks are. With this, you can update your CV regularly
6) Punctuality is key.
Always aim to arrive at your internship office in good time, to do that you must plan your journeys right. This goes hand in hand with my earlier point about treating your internship like a full-time job. Punctuality is one way of showing your boss your commitment to this opportunity. As a law student, where time is money, time wasting and coming late should be kept to an absolute minimum. This goes for all types of internships.
I hope this helped for those of you in Internships, Work experience or even a Graduate job. These skills apply to all of those. I wish you all the best and I will be back soon with more.