How to stand out and shine during your internship? - seven tips!

Added: 12 days ago
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Internships are temporary company placements offered to college students as a part of their coursework. Individuals such as freshers or those wanting to switch careers, may also take up unpaid or less paid probationary positions on their own to gain real-time work experience.

An internship/probation may or may not translate into a full-time assignment, however, if one’s truly interested in working in a specific company, role or department, it’s a wonderful way to enhance your practical knowledge, acquaint yourself to an organisational set-up and start-off as a working professional, even before securing a permanent job.

Students in courses incorporating such placements have a definite edge over others who are only ploughing through theory and cramming books for examinations. Virtual internships are also quite common now. Most interns discover and decide on their vocations during this spell.

Have you bagged an internship? That’s cool!

This is just the beginning of an exciting new phase of your life! How to make the most of it?

These seven tips will support you to stand out and shine during your internship period:

#Tip 1 - Act professionally in every sense

In this crucial shift from campus to the corporate world, every move of yours will be observed - grooming, the way you carry yourself, communicate your views, manage your time and perform your tasks. In short, everything you do. Instead of feeling anxious, use this chance to train yourself into becoming a thorough professional. Mistakes may occur, don’t let these deter you from continuously learning and improving.

#Tip 2 - Take it as a real job

Don’t treat the internship like a short-term deal. Any assignment coming your way, small or big, important or minor, accept it sincerely and perform it with 100% commitment and effort. The trivial tasks may transform into larger responsibilities and the insignificant jobs may lead to something meaningful, ultimately.

#Tip 3: Go above and beyond

Challenge yourself on what and how you can accomplish something. Never be limited by the project or the duties you’re assigned. Exceed expectations on those and show enthusiasm to take on more.

Involve self in activities that broaden your knowledge and skills showcases you as a valuable team member. However, when taking initiative, organise yourself to complete tasks within deadlines. You’ll be noticed from a batch of trainees when you’re willing to go beyond the call of duty.

#Tip 4: Network

Usually, trainees are attached to a manager who’s overseeing their project. However, organisations may also recruit trainees as a cost-effective measure and utilise them across departments for multiple jobs. In this case there may be more than one person you report to during the said period.

Either way, make connections and build relationships at the workplace. If you happen to develop rapport with a senior person, approach him/her to be your guide/mentor to hone your skills. Networking offers insights into the organisational culture and also provides valuable references for future jobs.

#Tip 5: Stay humble and flexible

Behave like a sponge, soak in all there’s to know throughout this stint. Familiarising yourself to the firm’s procedures, policies and people will give you better awareness of your prospects as a full-time employee.

Be respectful of people at all levels and adapt to the working style of your supervisor/s. Flexibility, modesty, adaptability are traits most workplaces find appealing in potential employees.  

#Tip 6: Ask questions

If the organisation has a structured trainee induction program, you needn’t worry much about gaining knowledge about the company or your project goals. If not, don’t feel shy or afraid to ask well-meaning questions.

Being curious about your project, where its heading, probing for additional data concerning the company and its functioning is acceptable. Only, avoid disturbing people when they are busy, schedule an appointment to extract the information you require.

#Tip 7: Seek feedback

Thinking you are doing a great job spells self-confidence. Seeking continuous feedback from your manager and other team players on your work and attitude is taking it a step further. Identify your strengths and weaknesses for improving performance, record your achievements for an impactful internship journey and a promising future.

I did two extremely interesting internship projects as a part of my management degree, these equipped me with enriching experiences, further firming up my career choice. Years later, having seen it from a student’s perspective, I was able to design and execute interns & management trainees’ induction programs for the organisation.

An internship period is the best training ground available to sharpen your saw, make maximum use of it.

The transition from a fresh graduate to a full-time employee will then turn out much smoother and enjoyable!

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