Internships can be daunting, especially if it’s your first. There are so many things to organise, and it’s time you put all your knowledge to the test. However, it is nonetheless a critical, incredibly valuable experience. Remember that most internships you access in university are aware that you don’t know everything and you’re there to learn!
1) Get to Know Your Mentor(s)
Chances are, you will be assigned to a more experienced employee on the team. They will teach you the ropes, make sure you have a comfortable time at the company and sometimes be your main point of contact. Although it may be intimidating at first, try to know your mentor on a personal level, learn about their career path, how they landed their role and even have some meals together to bond. Internships are meant to let you know if the industry is a good fit for you, and your mentor(s) are more than happy to give some depth to your judgement with their worldliness. Try not to waste this resource and connect with your mentor!
2) Make Meaningful Conversations With Your Coworkers
The environment can be daunting, but let’s not forget courtesy. Greet your coworkers, ask them how they are doing and engage in conversations with them. Yes, they might be older than you or have a different perspective, but they are the best indictment of the company culture. As a result, you’ll be more motivated and feel a better sense of belonging in an internship.
3) Keep the Contacts
Networking is an age-old question and is still an important topic when you’re undertaking an internship. Asking for someone’s contact details out of the blue is definitely not the way to go, even in a professional environment. This is why building a relationship on the way is very important. As an internship comes to an end, don’t burn all bridges and pray that you’ll never see these people again. Get their emails, phone numbers and LinkedIn details even if you don’t feel like you’ll cross paths with them in the near future.
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