How to Ace Your Internship

Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment. Thomas Carlyle.

So you’ve manage to land an internship in the industry you want to work in, or even better the company you’d like to work for. Great, but don’t assume that this is a guarantee for a contract later on. Internships or Enternships are becoming an accepted and ever more crucial part of getting work in the modern job market, so make sure you make the most of it and increase your chances of improving your CV landing your dream job.

Go above and beyond your job title…

Student internships are all about showing your employer what you are capable of. Don’t think just in terms of your ‘core responsibilities’, instead, think about what additional skills you have that you could bring to the job.

Think about ways you could improve the department you’re working in, or the organizational structure of your job. Maybe you’ve got some website design experience, or are knowledgeable about social media. Think about how your skills developed previously could be utilized in your current workplace.

Being bold and making suggestions that you think could benefit the organization will show initiative and creative thinking and demonstrate a passion for the workplace.

Be heard!

If you have been taking on extra responsibilities, contributing to the organization in a way that exceeds your job description, or simply you have done well in the tasks assigned to you, make sure your managers know about it. This doesn’t mean bragging, but it is about bringing attention to what you are doing and letting them know your thought processes.

If you have an idea or have just completed a task, talk to them, ask for advice and ways you could improve your work in the future. Not only will this highlight what you have done, it will also show you are eager to learn and improve.

Ask, ask and ask again.

Ask for as much advice as possible. Talk to your fellow employees, seniors and managers. Ask about the company itself and the industry. Ask about how they got to where they are. Don’t be shy. Invite a senior manager or a senior member of staff for coffee and ask for advice about getting into the industry, what makes someone good at the job and the pitfalls you need to be aware of.

You’ll be surprised how willing most people are to help and the advice you get will be invaluable, not only in terms of how you progress but also in building personal relationships within the company. Everyone has been at the bottom of the pile and are usually happy to help passionate individuals. It may be the best £2.50 you ever spend.

Show you’re hungry.

Volunteer to take on extra responsibilities where you can (as long as it doesn’t jeopardize your assigned work). This is a great way to get you noticed and the fact that you are willing to go above and beyond your core responsibilities will show you are keen to make a difference and not scared of responsibility.

Through an internship, your employer wants to see how you are going to contribute to the organization and where you fit into the company, so it is important to continually demonstrate your abilities and positive character traits over a number of different areas, while at the same time displaying passion and drive for the job.

The key here is about being bold and making sure you make an impact. So, if you have an internship, never get complacent and always think about your work and your role creatively.

If you come up with ideas for the business outside of work at midnight, send them an email. It doesn’t mean you HAVE to stay up till midnight thinking of ideas but often our best ideas come when we’re relaxed in bed or in the shower. It means, if you have an idea just send an email. They’ll appreciate it big time!

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It’s kind of fun to do the impossible. Walt Disney.

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