Tips for Maximizing Your Internship Experience

Internships, especially in college, provide you with very valuable experience to hone your professional skills and meet other people who share your interests.  Here's a few tips on getting the most out of your internship experience.

1) Be professional.  This is probably the most important way to maximize your internship experience.  Being professional first includes being respectful and polite to other employees and your supervisor.  You should also arrive early and depart a little later than you're supposed to, in order to display your work ethic.  In addition, follow the dress code, if applicable, and any other company rules, if they apply.

2) Maintain contact with your supervisor.  Stay in contact with your supervisor, whether through in-person discussions, the phone, or via e-mail.  This way, you can first know what is expected of you during your time as an intern and what kind of assignments and responsibilities you are given.  As you begin your assignments, be sure to contact your supervisor to make sure you are completing your tasks correctly, and even if you are completing them correctly, then you can still feel free to contact your supervisor to send them progress reports of your work, so they know how you're doing.  Lastly, don't be afraid to ask for feedback on the quality of your work, and more importantly, don't be afraid to ask questions if you have any.  After all, asking questions will actually impress your supervisor because it shows you are not afraid of taking initiative to find out what you can do to improve your work.

3) Complete projects efficiently.  You should complete your projects efficiently, meaning that you should have them done by the deadlines, but of course, this does not mean you rush through them.  Make sure that you manage to meet the deadlines, while still taking your time, in order to ensure it is quality work.  Of course, work with a lot of passion and enthusiasm.  If you happen to complete a project early, you should ask for an opportunity to do another project, if you have the time.  Your initiative will be very impressive to your employer.

4) Network.  Meet with as many other colleagues as you can and talk about your career interests and passions, because these people may be able to help you find jobs in the future, because it is possible they may have connections or recommendations.  Of course, also talk to your supervisor, to see if they can provide you more opportunities in the company, or they can recommend you to different companies.  At the very least, the people you meet will offer valuable advice on landing your dream job, and you can make great friendships as well.

5) End your internship positively.  When your internship is ending, be sure to give your supervisor and colleagues a very enthusiastic goodbye.  Exchange contact information so that you can maintain your connections that may be helpful for finding future jobs.  Write a thank you note to your supervisor to express your appreciation for the valuable opportunity you were given, and also, don't be afraid to ask them to write you a letter of recommendation, if you wish.

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