Do's and don'ts of internships for college students
The summer break might be a month or so away but the time to look for and secure yourself a summer internship is now. For summer breaks being the longest vacations that students get, internships are the most sought after by students during this break. And with internships fast becoming a defining factor in one's resume it's all the more important to land yourself a good internship. It's often said that internships are quite effective in easing the student's transition from college life to professional life. And not to mention the various benefits that they offer to the student community. Like from a chance to experience the corporate environment in the industry of their choice to gaining relevant experience of actual field work to helping them decide whether the field is their true calling or not, internships have a lot to offer to students. They happen to be the bridge between the college and the corporate life that the students are to lead on after college. If one is to take his internship experiences seriously they can even land themselves a job after college.
What you should do:
1. Try to get at least one internship during your time at college. You will not regret the decision.
2. If you are going for more than one internship, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with each one of them. Try to work in different departments to get to know what kind of work they involve.
3. Expect to be treated professionally and do the same yourself. You are in a professional space so it would be in your best interest to act like other employees. This includes dressing up properly, coming on time and following office rules associated with eating etc.
4. Reach out to your internship manager for any query that you might be having regarding work and growth opportunity.
5. Use the opportunity to your maximum benefit, it's a great way to find exposure in the cut-throat competition.
6. Make sure you end your internship as a wiser and more experienced person, with a good understanding of various departments of the industry that you worked in.
7. If you are in your final year student, you'd want to land a job with the organization so put your best foot forward and work hard and be as impressive as you can.
8. By the time you end the internship, make sure you know the basics of writing a cover letter, resume and have sharpened interview skills.
9. Send thank you notes to your seniors and mentors at work for helping you with the work during your internship.
10. Enjoy your internship and try to refrain from complaining about every small thing. Understand and acknowledge that as a professional you'd be expected to work multiple projects at a time and you are no longer in college wherein you can lack or do things at your leisure or convenience.
11. Stay connected with people at the organization after your internship gets over because apart from the fact that they helped you with the work, these are the people who will be of great help when you need a job in future.
What you should not do:
1. Expect all the internships to be paid. That is not going to be the case for a lot of good internships and you shouldn't miss out on a good opportunity just because of that.
2. Some internships might be as difficult to land as a job so don't take it for granted if you get one. This also means you have to work hard to land yourself the internship.
3. Don't shy away from doing work beyond the responsibilities expected of you. You will thank yourself for going out of your comfort zone if you happen to find your true calling.
4. Don't get intimidated by other people and ask questions whenever you have one.
5. Take advantage of all the leads you gain during internship time. Once you are done with the college education, you will need all these leads to land a good job.
Internships are important since you are provided with the opportunity to learn and gain experience. Use this as an opportunity to explore and learn so you are prepared for the corporate world when you graduate. Make an effort to shine and constantly challenge yourselves. Possess the "Yes-I -Can!" attitude. Every new project teaches you something new and this broadens your skill set. Allow yourself the opportunity to show your skills and build trust with your co-workers. Even if the project is tedious, do it. After all, you have to earn your position. Network with your co-workers, introduce yourself, find out what they are working on. See if you can do what they're doing, or get involved in some way to contribute to the team. What does your team need? Figure that out, and make it happen. Finally, as an intern, you will make mistakes. However, take responsibility and learn from it. Do not let failure hold you back from challenging yourself. Remember that as an intern you are not expected to know everything, so make an effort to learn.