You’ve worked hard on your MBA with your eye on the goal of a great position for a hot company. You know that an internship would be a good step to take on your path to all this greatness; and now that you’re there, you need to make the most out of this experience.
Here are some things to do and things to remember while you are on this career appetizer:
You have a short amount of time to prove yourself and impress the people you work with. This is a potential opportunity to be offered a job; and even if you aren’t, the impression you make will linger on.
Deliver like your life depends on it.
You may have known a long time that this work is leading you to the career of your dreams. Even if you haven’t, this is the chance to confirm that this will be the right fit for you once you launch your career. Soak up this experience so you know its right, because it will be harder to pull the plug and head in another direction once you have a more permanent job.
This will be one of the richest networking opportunities you will have this side of being in school. You will come in contact with new co-workers in and around the department, vendors, customers and those in charge. Get to know these people, understand what they do and who they are. Connect with them and stay connected.
If you don’t have much work experience, you may not know how to come up to speed and start contributing quickly. The best place to start is to learn how things work. If you hook into a specific business process and follow it back to its origin then forward to the end result, you will learn people, process, and problems along the way. For you to perform well, you need to not only produce the work, but you need to know who’s who. We’ll save the problems for the next bullet.
You will be considered an exceptional performer if you not only perform the work, but also look for and solve problems. In fact, you could become indispensable.
Some organizations do status reports. Don’t roll your eyes; they can be good for you in the long run. Even if the group you go into doesn’t do status reports, do one anyway. Documenting your accomplishments and plans are a good way to communicate your value and contributions within the organization. Sometimes, it can be challenging for the higher ups to get visibility to an intern, but this can help. Outside, if you’re doing a job search, your status reports can serve as a work sample to help paint the picture of your rich intern experience.
More than likely you will receive some type of performance assessment prior to leaving. If not, ask for a written appraisal. This can act as a form for job reference. You should ask some of the people you work with for a letter of reference or if you can use them as a reference in your upcoming job search. It’s far better to get their agreement to do a reference for you while you are there face to face, than after the fact.
An internship is a great way to achieve a number of your career goals. You could end up with a job offer which might be a dream come true. You will certainly gain great experience to help you become a more competitive job seeker when the time comes. Aside from those two obvious items, you will gain references, a network and deepen your insight on how to learn a job quickly. You can deepen your experience with just a few well thought out actions.
Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleash your professional potential.