Oh, summer time! The long-waited time of the year is here! Everyone is on holiday in Greece, watching the waves gently lapping along the seashore, whilst enjoying an iced coffee. The scene is almost as picturesque as the screensaver on the computer in my office, for that screensaver is the only view of sea waves that I had this summer. Doing an internship over the summer surely has its benefits, but I could not lie saying I do not miss my full-day tan on a beach in Constanta (Romania). And if you are in my position missing the fun summers and dwelling over the decision to sacrifice your summer for some work experience, here are at least some tips to help you make the most out of your internship.
A common mistake of students is that they think about internships as temporary work and don’t invest too much in building relationships with their colleagues. Even if an internship finishes after 1-2-3 months, you should always think about it as an opportunity to meet new people working in one of your fields of interest. Keeping in touch with your colleagues after the internship can always be useful, especially when it comes to asking for references. Moreover, taking every chance to network and meet other people in the organisation, apart from your colleagues, is a good way of discovering future opportunities.
So you are stuck in a team that doesn’t quite do the type of work you were interested in doing. Then look around and see what other teams are doing. Is there anyone you would like to shadow for a couple of days? Is there a particular part of the organisation that you are interested in? Maybe a particular role? Asking around and finding out ways of gaining the experience you wanted to gain will always take you further than just accepting the status-quo.
Take advantage of every opportunity
This comes without saying. Is there any training you can take? Do it! Is there any interesting project you want to be part of? Be part of it! Is there an event you would like to attend? Go along to it! Any little thing can help and improve your internship experience. The key is to be open to learning new things and giving them a try.