It’s January! And the more enterprising students in their second year have already started chalking out plans for their spare time – now and during the upcoming summer break. If this includes you, we bring you the most fundamental component in planning your internships – what you would do on the job!
Day-dreaming about making a splash at the office – with bosses who love you and hand you a job offer? Well, all this and more can become a reality provided you ensure that you take the right steps.
Planning your internships:
The key to a successful internship is planning ahead about what you are going to do in the internship.
1. Be a sponge –
You need to be prepared to soak in all the learning and information like a sponge. The internship is your window into the corporate world. There is so much to learn every day, from office behaviour, work ethics to learning the job process. Unless you keep an open mind and prepare yourself to learn, you will remain blind to everything that’s happening around you.
2. Be Punctual & Responsible –
This is the foundation of being a good intern. Your manager or mentor has to trust that you will be able to handle projects that are assigned to you. The basic way you can express this is by making sure you are on time for everything at the office.
Responsibility is shown by doing the task well and adhering to the rules. By communicating properly and with clarity, your manager will start trusting you with more responsibilities. You can go through the full list of tasks to ensure that your boss acknowledges your worth.
3. Take initiative –
Most interns complain that they were not assigned work or they did not get work that they wanted. This stems from the fact that not many interns approach their managers for a discussion about the internship.
Make sure you take the initiative (one of the integral intern-worthy skills) and talk to your manager about what you want. But, also be ready to listen to the mentor. You may not see the learning in a particular task but your manager through experience knows best.
4. Learn to communicate –
You may already be a good communicator but there are lots of things you can learn about communication from your workplace. How to give professional presentations, how to behave at client meetings, how to communicate in office meetings, these are some of the formal situations.
Informally, you also get to learn the dynamic of communicating with seniors and managers, and even handling office gossip. You will also learn written official communication like emails and messages. All these are precious learnings and can only be learnt in an office.
5. Offer to do other projects –
It’s easy to start treating an internship like a job – working from 9 to 5 and waiting to get out of office to go hang out with friends. Yes, the college holidays are the only time you can relax completely but the internship period is the only time to learn.
Make the most of it and offer to do other projects at workplace. Work with other teams so you can understand the entire operations of the company.
6. Network and find mentors –
The internship is your one chance to connect with corporates. Your colleagues and bosses at your internships are the ones who can lend you a hand professionally and guide you through your career decisions. So, you need to extend a hand and network at your office.
Take them out for a coffee or stop by their desk for a quick chat. Make a connection and seek their support. You may as well find a mentor who can guide you over the long term.
7. Keep a work diary –
It’s a great idea to keep an exclusive diary or a notebook for your internship. You should constantly keep taking notes, during meetings and other projects. These notes will be a valuable learning volume and will also help you while creating your project report.
Also, it will help to track your work progress during the internship. You should submit a copy of the report with your manager so they know how much value you have driven during your time in the company. You could also do so digitally with a note-keeping app.
Doing all these things during an internship will definitely impress your manager and stay on top of their mind. Most importantly after your internship, stay in touch with them regularly through Linkedin. And before you finish your internship, speak to your manager and other mentors and let them know how you felt like working at the internship and tell them about your willingness to work with them in the future.
This will certainly create a good impression and who knows you will hear from them soon about a full-time opportunity with the company!
If you are looking for more such internship advice, do follow our blog. Also, if you have done any interesting internships then do comment below and we will reach out to feature you in our intern experiences.