10 IMPORTANT THINGS YOU LEARN FROM AN INTERNSHIP
New and improved skills and how to apply them
One of the most important things you can gain from an internship is newfound knowledge. This can include knowing how to fulfill tasks that are relevant to your desired career path and sharpening the skills that you already possess. Many students think an internship mainly consists of making coffee and running errands for superiors all day, but that is not true. And really, it shouldn’t be like that. An internship is an opportunity to test out all the skills that you developed in school and see how they work in the real world. With internship opportunities, you will get an idea of what your biggest strengths are, as well as areas of improvement you should work on.
Working in a professional setting for the first time can be difficult to get used to. But it is the best way to learn how to navigate the working world through real-life, hands-on experience. One of the most valuable skills you will gain from an internship is the ability to speak with people in a professional setting. Discussions with bosses or coworkers are different from discussions with teachers or fellow students. After your internship, you should have a better idea of the appropriate way to behave as a professional. This will help you a lot when you start interviewing for jobs because you will be more confident and will sound more mature and experienced in a business setting.
Networking is important
Don’t underestimate yourself; make sure you make the most of your internship and take advantage of all the opportunities that come with it. Also, unglue yourself from your immediate work area every once in awhile and get to know other employees. Not only will you end up creating great memories and making friends, but you will widen your professional network. Be proactive, and if you are invited to work functions introduce yourself to people. This is the only way people will know who you are and what you’re all about and most importantly – remember you.
Taking constructive criticism well
Naturally, no one likes to be criticized and performance evaluations can be quite scary. You will probably make a few mistakes and receive constructive criticism about your work from both your colleagues and your boss. Always remind yourself that it’s not personal. It is for your own good and growth and it will improve the quality of your work.
Work hard no matter what you’re doing
Always work hard even if your task is small and seems unimportant. It will help you build a good work ethic, and people will notice the effort you put in. It’s not nice being told what to do all the time, but your superiors (mostly) know better. Following the rules and instructions they give you makes it easier for everyone.
Often, we think being spoon-fed is the way to learn, but working independently has proved to be very important. Your internship will teach you to make my own decisions and do things on your own. Being able to work independently with little guidance is very important in the working world.
In addition to the people who will be your references in the future, try to leave your internship with new connections: senior employees, clients, fellow interns, etc. These people can provide guidance, advice and help you in future job searches. Keep them in the loop on where you are in your career, and offer to help them whenever you can. To do this, you’ll need to make an effort during the course of your internship to build relationships with people around the office.
You’re more important than you think
Even though you are at the bottom of the career ladder, you’re also needed and your basic work is appreciated. Intern life can be tough, and you only get a short time to make a lasting impression. However, it is a great opportunity to gain experience, make friendships and learn. So work hard and enjoy your internship!