Getting the most out of your internshipChen Wan Lim
Internships are great opportunities for learning and experiencing working life. Regardless if the internship is for a duration of three weeks or three months, paid or unpaid or even in an industry unrelated with what you are studying, internships can help you decide if the career you want is suitable for you. Internships are generally intended to be short term, with short stints in different divisions, learning how certain operations work. As such, here are some smart ways on how to get the most out of your internship:
Ask good inquisitive questions
As your colleagues will probably be busy with their duties and tasks, they will not have the time to teach you everything. You will need to choose your questions wisely and only ask important questions which are inquisitive in nature. Inquisitive questions will often also lead to other intelligent questions which will maximise your learning experience. Therefore, conduct prior research first before asking a question and make every question count. In addition, your colleagues will be appreciative and will look highly on you for asking well-structured questions.
Be willing to assists everywhere
Always be willing to help around the office as an intern. Make yourself available for any job, no matter how trivial it might seem. You will be surprised that your advance level skill in operating a photocopy machine might come in handy one day. Also, by willing to assist your colleagues wherever possible, you will be sending out the signal that you are interested in learning the operations and business of the company.
Just because you are an intern, it doesn’t mean that you can’t build your network right up to the top. Given the opportunity, always try to introduce yourself to everyone. Take a step further by trying to set up lunch appointments with people whom you think will be good to know. Knowing people at a personal level within the company can be beneficial one day after you have graduated – this will ease the whole hiring process as you are a familiar face to them.
Asking for references
One of the purposes of networking, apart from getting to know people is to seek out potential referees for your resume. Chances are, if you had not done any internship, then you will have to only rely on academic references such as your tutors and lecturers. Although these references are important, they do not normally carry as much weight as a referee from a place you have worked in. Therefore, a good combination is to have both an academic referee and a workplace referee to vouch for you in your resume.
Ask for feedbacks
Finally, before the end of your internship stint, go around and ask your colleagues and your supervisors for some constructive feedbacks. In particular, ask them how you performed and in what areas you could improve on further. Be open and be prepared to receive constructive feedbacks as these opinions could help you in securing future permanent employment.