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Maximizing Your Summer Internship

May 2019 By Kim Tang

Congratulations on your summer internship! Internships are a great way to receive hands on experience in an industry and build connections. All your hard work is paying off, but don’t get complacent! Here are some ways you can maximize your summer internship.

1. Come in every day prepared and on time

This one is simple, but being prepared every day and punctual will show you care about the position and are reliable.

2. Say yes to new projects and opportunities

Internships are a time for you to try new things and grow your skills! Accept new projects and tasks, and say yes to everything (within reason — don’t burn yourself out). You’re at your internship to grow your skills, so it’s important to take every opportunity as a learning experience.

3. Volunteer for projects

Similar to the first one, it’s also a great idea to take initiative and volunteer for any projects and assignments that need to be done, or that can help you gain a new skill. Taking initiative is a great way to get gain more experience and stand out. Remember to be intentional here. Say yes if the new skill learned is something you know you need to be competitive in the job market or if you can actually dedicate the time to the project. Just remember to not take on more than you can handle!

4. Voice your opinions

You might be asked about a problem the company is facing, or for your opinion on a new plan. Don’t shy away from voicing your opinion — share it with others. There’s a reason you’re being asked, and a reason why you’re sitting at the table while people are discussing the matter. You might have a new perspective on the situation that hasn’t been considered before! Regardless, so long as you’re respectfully sharing your thoughts, you should speak up.

5. Connect with your co-workers

From other interns to supervisors, get to know the people you’re working with. Grab lunch with them, check in on them, and form concrete bonds. Your fellow interns might become long-lasting friends, and your supervisors can teach you plenty about the industry — you just have to ask.

It’s also great to talk to people in different departments than you! Getting to know all the sides of an organization is both a great way to understand the organization more, and get great insight on the company culture.

5. Be polite, professional, and respectful

This should go without saying, but you’re working in a professional environment, so your attitude and actions should reflect that. Be kind and respectful to everyone you meet and talk to, and remember: your impression does matter!

6. Ask questions

Ask questions if you don’t know something or need clarification — asking questions doesn’t make you seem unprepared; it shows you’re willing to learn.

And remember to have fun! Your internship is a great learning experience, but you should also be enjoying your time as well. Soak it up, and have a great summer. At the end of your internship, remember to thank your supervisor and the people you worked with as well. And if you want, you can also let us know how your internship was and be featured in an Internship Spotlight!

Asking for More Time

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Internship Spotlight – Kylie Turner

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Making the Most of the Career Fair

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How to Write a Successful Cover Letter

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Internship Spotlight – Matthew Fertakos

Name: Matthew Fertakos Graduation Year: 2019 Major: Biology Minor: Sexuality and Queer Studies On-campus involvement: TCNJ Musical Theatre, All College Theatre, Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society, Independent Research in Dr. Wendy Clement’s Lab Internship: Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University (Boston, MA) from May 21-July 27 Describe your role. I was a research intern under Dr. Beth… Continue Reading