Written by Undergraduate Career Consultant and Second-Year MHRM Student, Sheri Sheffel
Starting your summer internship can be a daunting thing. How should you prepare? How do you manage your projects? What happens as you begin to close out the summer? Below are my top 5 takeaways for making the most out of your summer internship. Check out our full-length handout here for even more tips on how to be the best intern you can be!
- Time Management – This means that you should be taking the most of your opportunity by making sure you are on time every day and utilizing your time to its full potential. This starts from the very first day! Make sure to take a practice drive a day or two before your first day so you know traffic patterns and the best route. Also, make sure that you are spending your time working on work-related issues while on the job. This means you should be minimizing any distractions (like your cell phone) while on the clock.
- Stay Positive – You probably won’t know everything the first day you step into the job, but no one is expecting you to! Don’t get frustrated or upset when you’re not sure what the next steps are. Take some time to work through your problems and come up with a few solution ideas before talking with your manager. Being able to go into that meeting with a positive attitude and a few good solutions can make a big difference!
- Keep a journal – Keeping a journal throughout your internship can be a great way to reflect back on how you have grown. As your confidence builds throughout the summer, you will be able to see that come through as you read back through the journal. It can also help you understand what you did/didn’t like about the job so that you are more aware when looking for your next opportunity. Finally, it also helps you to keep a record of all the projects and assignments you worked on which will be extremely beneficial in future interviews!
- Network – Your internship is a great way to start building your professional network outside of OSU! Chances are the people you meet during your time at that company will move around to various other companies within the next couple years and those connections may land you your next job. Networking with people from different departments also allows you to get a holistic sense of the company and the different sub-cultures within it!
- End it well! – No matter what the outcome is after the internship, make sure to always remain courteous and respectful for the opportunity the company gave you. Even if you didn’t get the offer you wanted, you are walking away with valuable experiences and insights you can take with you to your next job. If you did get the offer you wanted, make sure to be grateful then take some time to think about it and what you want. Finally, use that time to reflect and understand how you have grown, the opportunities you enjoyed, and where you see your career going from there.