How to Succeed in Your First Internship
As the school year ends and summer begins, there’s nothing better than to kick back, relax, and enjoy a much needed break. At least, that’s what you would do if you didn’t have a summer internship ahead! Internships are a critical building block for every student’s early career and give you the opportunity to bring your classroom knowledge into the real world. But if you’re starting your first-ever internship this summer, it can be scary! Nobody wants to mess up their first internship, so keep reading for 3 tips on making your summer internship a great experience.
Tip #1 – Learn, learn, and learn!
When you start out in a new workplace, you may become overwhelmed by the influx of information. As you’re first starting out, get a grasp on the company culture and carve out time during your first two weeks to familiarize yourself with your company’s policies, processes, procedures, and code of conduct.
Once you understand how your company operates and what it values, you can try to adapt to that environment while bringing your unique perspective and experiences to your team. Never be afraid to ask questions whenever you get confused or feel unsure, it’s better to get clarity sooner rather than later!
Tip #2 – Meet your coworkers—even those outside your team
Once the tedious training is over, it’s time for the fun part: meeting new people! Dedicate the first few weeks of your internship to meeting your direct teammates and stakeholders. Do your best to get to know your teammates so that you can establish camaraderie and learn about their working styles! When I started my first internship, I scheduled 1:1s with my coworkers to learn more about their responsibilities, interests, and expectations for me as an intern.
While you should definitely get to know your immediate teammates, you should also reach out to people outside of your team. These connections give you different perspectives into how other teams across the organization work, and can help you connect the dots so that you have a more holistic view of the company.
Tip #3 – Set goals
Goal-setting is a big part of being successful. At the beginning of your internship, set up time with your manager and work together to establish goals and expectations for your internship. Figure out what you should be accomplishing each week, set out a plan, and work towards completing your tasks to the best of your ability.
Keep your personal goals in mind too and let your manager and teammates know about any interesting projects or skills you’d like to work on. Asking for what you want can help you build confidence and motivation to continue learning and growing throughout your internship.
Did any of those tips resonate with you? Let us know how you plan on making your summer internship a success!