Making the Most of your Summer Internship
This was my 6th week at my internship and it's absolutely insane how quickly time has flown by. I feel like I've been there for 2 weeks and instead I have two weeks left. I've been thinking about how I can make the most of my last few weeks so since it's my sixth week, I came up with six tips to share if you're also interning this summer!
one // Set goals - In my internship program, we all took a few minutes on orientation day and came up with summer goals for ourselves. If you also did something like that, now is a great time to look back and revisit your goals, see if you accomplished them, and see what goals you still want to accomplish. If you didn't, it's not too late (as was the theme of my last post). Think back on what you've done so far and what you hoped to accomplish coming in. Write down what you still want to accomplish and then start working on your list before it's too late!
two // Network - One of my goals at the start of the summer was to find a mentor. It doesn't have to be your boss or even someone in your department, but find someone who inspires you and who you think would be able to guide you in the future, not just in your current internship. Foster that relationship through coffee or lunch and make sure to get their contact information and add them on LinkedIn before the end of the summer so you can stay in touch! (On that note, if you don't already have a LinkedIn you should 100% make one!)
three // Meet the other interns - I think sometimes this one can be harder than the last one. I know it can be awkward or intimidating but don't be afraid to reach out to other interns for coffee dates as well, especially if they're in a different department than you are. The best advice I got from a college professor was to build your network of fellow students. Your peers are one day going to be the people in charge of the companies you want to work or partner with and having those strong connections can help you develop other connections in your industry as well as other industries. Having connections with professors and access to their networks is a great way to get in the door, but it'll be your connections that keep pushing you forward in your career. Just like with adults, get your other interns' contact information and add them on LinkedIn (if they have one) as well!
four // Shadow - I'm very lucky in that my internship program is huge on shadowing - they encourage you to reach out to other departments and see what other parts of the company do. If you aren't sure if it's something you could do at your internship, talk to your boss and see if they'd be open to the idea of letting you work in a different department one day. If they say yes, send out emails and ask for contacts in other departments . You'll get a break from your daily tasks, as well as get a better understanding of other divisions of the company, and of course, a chance for more networking. It can also help you get a better idea of something you might be more interested in doing if your current position isn't what you were hoping to be doing this summer.
five // Challenge yourself to go above and beyond - You've gotten comfortable, now it's your time to shine. Try to take what you've learned so far and push the boundaries of it - do the thing that will show your boss you're willing to go the extra mile, and that you're willing to grow. Don't fall into the habit of being static because you've gotten too comfortable with what you've been doing.
six // Write everything down - If you haven't been keeping a journal of what you've been doing at work, start thinking about your daily tasks, software or programs you've learned how to use, and what you've learned. Then write it down somewhere you'll be able to find it! I love OneNote but I also save EVERYTHING on OneDrive so I have access to it everywhere I go. Come October (or possibly even earlier) you're going to want to update your resume and you're going to think back and ask yourself, "what did I do all summer??" If you have some form of journal or log of your summer, it'll be so much easier to write down your bullet points to update your resume (and LinkedIn)! It's also a great way to track your progress and see how much you've learned and how you've grown over the course of the internship.
If anyone else has tips for making the most of a summer internship share them in the comments below, I'm always looking for ways to improve!