Most students start an internship with big expectations. They have dreamt about what they will be doing, what they will learn and all of the great experiences they will have. Yet not all internships are created equally, and often the reality of an internship falls flat in comparison. While we are not always given that dream-job experience, here are a few tips to make the most out of every opportunity in an internship.
The First Lesson Learned: You Do NOT Want This Job.
You could have dreamt about the position for months or have jumped in last minute. Whatever the case, one thing is certain: This is not the job for you. Instead of seeing this as a failure, realize that you have successfully eliminated one of your many post-graduation options. This internship saved you from agreeing to a full-time position in something you dislike. If Thomas Edison failed over 1,000 times while making the light bulb, it could take you a few good tries to find the right internship.
Listen to Feedback.
It may not be the job for which you hoped, but it is certainly still a job. Doing an internship is a great opportunity to show your skills in the professional world and to receive feedback from those in the field. Take all of the advice you can get and use it to develop as a professional.
Work on Your Teamwork and People Skills.
Is your internship okay, but your co-workers are driving you up a wall? Don’t get discouraged. Disagreeable people are something you will encounter in any career you choose, and now is a great time to learn how to manage them. Try switching up your communication tactics, negotiation strategies and, if needed, your peacekeeping methods to see what works best.
Most likely, making copies and fetching coffee are not your life’s calling. So if that is all you are doing in your internship, you will have to dig a little deeper to get real value from the position. Observe what your superiors are doing, try to understand their thoughts and actions, and ask questions when appropriate. If ever there is the chance to get involved in a project, take that opportunity; if no openings exist, try getting creative and working on your own. You reap more benefits from your internship and also impress your boss with your self-motivation.
-by Bethany Corne, PRSSA Executive Member
All blogs are written by general members of UAPRSSA and Capstone Agency.