Tips for Future Interns

For my final post, I’d like to share a few tips for future interns that I have learned from my experience.

  • Communicate with your supervisor.  If you’re ever unsure about how to complete an assignment, ask questions.  It will save you a bunch of time if you ask a question in the beginning and get it right instead of doing the assignment wrong and having to redo the entire thing.  Your supervisor will also see that you are engaged and will be happy to teach you.  Additionally, if you ever need to come into work late or leave early, let your supervisor know at least a day ahead of time.  They will almost always be fine with it; they just want to know beforehand.
  • If you’re bored, ask for more challenging work.  Many supervisors will take a lack of feedback as a positive sign, so if you don’t say anything they will think that you are enjoying your work.  But if you’ve mastered the assignment and need something more intellectually stimulating, be vocal.  Internships aren’t about grunt-work anymore; you should have access to interesting and challenging work.
  • If your internship is in a single department of a larger company, try to make some time to see some other aspects of the business.  Ask your supervisor if you can sit down with someone from a different department for a little bit and get a feel for what they do.  Perhaps see if you can sit in on a interdepartmental or company-wide meeting in order to experience how your work fits into the success of the company as a whole.
  • As you progress through your internship, ask yourself if what you’re doing or what your supervisor is doing sounds like an interesting career path.  If so, ask your supervisor if you can sit in on a couple of his or her meetings.  You’ll get a greater understanding of what your supervisor does in order to make a more informed decision.

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