Internships are a great way to gain real-life on-the-job experience, even if the assignments you receive are not top-shelf business responsibilities. Why would they be? As an intern, you occupy the very bottom position in the organizational hierarchy, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t valuable takeaways to be gleaned from the experience.
Maximize the Opportunity
Internships furnish coveted looks inside organizations and corporations that might one day be the cornerstones of your career. They are privileges rather than entitlements, so opportunities to rub elbows with would-be peers should not be squandered. Make the most of your internship experience by taking-in the bigger picture, rather than feeling slighted by trivial work assignments. Pay attention to organizational structure, for example, recognizing who reports to who and other internal features of your temporary employer. And don’t be afraid to ask questions to reinforce your understanding of business operations. In addition to the knowledge gained, your employers will appreciate your initiative for asking.
Show Your Best Self
Regardless of the work you do as an intern, conduct yourself with utter professionalism at all times. To make the best impression, express gratitude for the position and complete assigned tasks with enthusiasm. And always present yourself with proper dress and demeanor that’s appropriate for the environment you intern in.
Though you are dispensable in your role as intern, it’s still possible to make important contacts as you complete your temporary term with an organization. Listening to coworkers and even reaching out to those whose work you respect makes a positive impression, which will be remembered as you move your career forward. If possible, establish mentor relationships with those willing to take you under their wings and take-on memberships in business organizations within your field.
Internships Lead to Full-Time Work
Making copies and filing documents may not qualify as career aspirations, but the jobs you do as an intern may lead to full-time employment within the organization. At the very least, underclass interns stand a good chance of being asked back for subsequent internship opportunities, provided they perform admirably during their first go-rounds. To increase your chances of future work, speak to your direct supervisor or human resources department toward the end of your term, outlining your desire for full-time work.
The value of internships cannot be underestimated, even if tangible takeaways are not apparent at first glance. Though many involve menial assignments, paid and unpaid internships nonetheless furnish valuable experience with bonafide employers. To make the most out of internships, treat them as regular employment, putting your best foot forward at all times. And maximize networking opportunities as you conduct yourself in professional environments, establishing connections that might lead to full-time work.
This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from free people search. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @ gmail.com
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