So, it’s that kind of summer… the summer where you’re heading into your third year and all the applications that come with next semester and thinking “OH GOD how do I separate myself from the thousands of other graduates looking for a job?”. You applied for internships during last semester and you’re settling in at a new company. However, you wonder to yourself, how do I really make this summer internship count and learn as much as possible? What can I do?
No question is too small.
My best advice is ask all the questions, regardless if they’re big or small, make you sound silly or not (trust me, they definitely won’t!!). If you’re struggling with something or don’t understand some of the business jargon that’s floating around, just ask. Nobody is going to think “oh god, they’re asking lots of questions, they clearly don’t know what’s going on…” Trust me. If anything, showing you’re engaged by asking all kinds of questions will make you seem above your game and mature.
Also, wouldn’t you rather know the answer to something than be clueless forever?
Volunteer at every opportunity.
In my opinion, it’s better to seem eager and excited for a roll than blase and uninterested. If your workload isn’t too strenuous, why not offer to help another member of staff with a project or ask if anything else needs doing? Also if, like me, you’re using your summer internship to try and figure out what it is you want to do with your life then getting exposure to more can’t ever be a bad thing. Plus, it keeps your work life interesting! You’ll thank me for it later.
Network, network, network.
Internships are an ideal way to expose yourself to “real life” work, but also meet lots of new and interesting people. Why not strike up a chat with your line manager and see what their background is? My best advice would be to ask how they got into the role they’re in and if they have any advice for you. You never know, you might make a mentor for life!