My Future

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Internship

Make sure your free labour isn't going to waste.

Internships have become a necessary step to get your foot in the door of your desired industry, but just scoring an internship isn’t always enough to lead to employment. In fact, only 27 per cent of interns are offered full-time work after completing their internships, and it’s safe to say that you want to be in that 27 per cent.

Heading into an internship can be daunting, especially if you haven’t had any other work experience. Here are some sure-fire ways to make sure your free labour isn’t going to waste.

Network Outside Of The Office

As the old adage goes, it’s definitely more about who you know rather than what you know. 85 per cent of jobs come from networking, but this shouldn’t just be happening within the confines of your office building.

Add your new co-workers on LinkedIn to build your professional network. Have coffee with your supervisors outside of work hours to pick their brains about where your career can go from here. Don’t be afraid to tag along to any after work hangs.

If you’re feeling especially brave, why not go as far as asking a supervisor to be a mentor? Having a professional to guide you on your journey into the workplace has been shown to not only improve your workplace skills but can also improve your academic grades. Bonus!

Work Your Butt Off

You know the saying “good things come to those who wait”? Well, it’s the complete opposite with internships. If you want your internship to really matter in the long run, it’s important to give it everything you’ve got.

Ask your supervisor and co-workers about any interesting projects they’re currently working on. Arrive early and leave late to squeeze in as many tasks in your day as you can. Be enthusiastic about even the most boring tasks and be sure to ask for feedback once you complete a task. Frequently ask if there’s anything you can help out with or sit in on.

You want to be a bit of a suck up, but you also don’t want to irritate your supervisors. Doing all this in moderation will show how eager you are about this business and can boost your chances of walking away with a job.

Be Sure To Stand Out

You don’t have to be super extra to stand out from the crowd, like this chick who painted herself gold in front of her prospective employer. Just be prepared to do some things a little bit differently.

For example, corporate attire doesn’t have to be all black, so why not wear something with a pop of colour? Or if a co-worker gives you some advice on how to complete a difficult task, don’t just say thank you and go on with your day — try writing them a handwritten thank you note to show how much you appreciated their help.

It’s unlikely you’ll be the only intern at the company, meaning there’s stiff competition for any job positions that open up. The more memorable you make yourself, the more you’ll come to mind when job opportunities pop up in the company you’re interning for.

Take Every Opportunity

I know internships can be scary, especially when you start getting assigned with tasks you don’t even know where to begin. But you’re new favourite word should be “YES!” because you need to say yes to each and every opportunity that comes your way.

You might be asked to use a piece of software you’ve never heard of before. You might be asked to answer phone calls from complete strangers. You might even be asked to direct an entire project all by yourself. Just say yes! When in doubt, Google it.

At the end of the day, you’ve got this internship to learn. How do you expect to learn anything by doing tasks you’re already comfortable and familiar with? Demonstrating yourself as a yes-person will definitely work in your favour.