Making The Most Of A Summer Internship

Hi summer college intern!

You made it… You acquired the prestigious opportunity to intern at some company that you could potentially work at post-graduation. Friends and family have congratulated you and you’ve probably even updated your LinkedIn profile with your new position. But how do you live up to the big expectation of being a valuable intern?

Here are FIVE tips for you. An internship is essentially a 3 month interview. All that great stuff you said you can do during your internship, now is the time to prove it! Will you do what it takes to get this company to give you that coveted return offer and think of you for full time positions?

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1. Join an Employee Resource Group

This is an “Engaged Intern” secret. Many interns come to work, do their job, and go home. They don’t further engage with the company. Work culture and environment is very important so, I like to dig deeper and see what type of company I’m working for and could potentially continue to work for.

Employee Resource Groups are like the many clubs you have at university, it’s groups of like minded individuals networking and growing. Definitely talk to your manager about getting involved because sometimes events or meetings are during work hours and you don’t want to disappear from your team.

2. Go to company events

If your company host any events or volunteers for charity, join them! This gives you the chance to hang out with coworkers and get to know people outside of the office. Building relationships with your coworkers is a great idea because it gives you stronger connections that will help you at work and maybe even after your internship.


3. Make friends with the other interns

From my past internship experiences, I always look forward to group intern activities. Usually people are coming from all over the world and bring different perspectives, stories, and culture. You are building your social skills and your social network but getting to know the other interns. Also, these same people may be your future co-workers. If you like to keep it strictly professional, getting to know the other interns will allow you to hear about what other departments are working on and how their work experiences are, compared to yours.

Everything you do isn’t in a selfish and greedy pursuit. The objective during your internship is usually to learn and grow. Doing many of these things will amplify that process.  

4. Ask everyone questions about anything

Companies bring in interns for new ideas, new perspectives, and for fresh eyes on their product. Give them what they want… don’t be shy! Something that is obvious to you may not be obvious to someone who has been working on the same product for 10 years.

Questions you can ask:

Why does they company do XYZ

Does the company have XYZ

Can I work on this?

What if we tried this?

Why aren’t you guys trying this?


5. Talk to the other people on your team

It’s easy for 60 days to go by before you meet everyone that sits near you or is involved with your teams project. Try to introduce yourself to everyone and utilize awkward silences. Everyone is usually aware that a new intern has arrived so, feel free to introduce yourself.

Grammarly yours, Semirah D

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