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6 Ways to Make an Internship Pay Off!

June 6, 2013 8:25am (EDT)
Maximize Your Internship by Planning
Maximize Your Internship by Planning

One of the best ways to start a career is to work for free – or pretty close to free. It’s called an internship and it can create invaluable experience.

The good people at Careelism.com have created a list of Six things to do to make that internship worth the time and effort.

1. Set Up A Planning Meeting With Your Boss

On your first day, it is important to sit down with your supervisor to facilitate a brainstorming session to learn about their pain points and set up some structure to what exactly it is that you’ll be working on for them.

2. Suggest Specific Projects That You Will “Own”

Having some kind of start-to-finish project ownership will give you something to wrap your arms around and also provide a concrete example of your abilities. Future employers appreciate seeing some kind of specifics in your resume, so the more you can take on and successfully complete, the more you’ll have to talk about to potential new companies.

3. Determine What Your Project Outcomes Should Be

In order to know whether the project that you work on is successful or not, you should work together with your supervisor to determine what the outcomes should look like so you have measurable targets.

4. Learn New Skills

Proactively plan through your internship experience to include opportunities where you can learn new skills to add to your career portfolio. Ask your supervisor about rotating into different roles in the office, find out if you can attend meetings, or even job shadow. The more you learn, the more diverse your skill sets become to make you a better candidate.

5. Build Networking Contacts

Tap into your supervisor and co-workers to start building your professional network. Leverage your time at the company and ask to be connected to key industry people or thought leaders – they can turn into powerful advocates if you treat them right.

6. Schedule An Internship Exit Interview With Metrics Measurements

Your last day should end with a giant slab of cake and ice cream; you should have a specific sit-down meeting with your boss to go over what you learned, what you accomplished, and how they felt you performed in the internship. By taking these steps, you can have a much more fulfilling experience which will translate into meaty connections that will build your employability and credibility with future potential employers.

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