No one signs up for an internship to make coffee runs and pick up their boss’ dry cleaning. Unfortunately many interns leave their internship experience with little to show for the time they have spent. It is important that you use your internship to accumulate valuable skills that you can add to your resume which will secure a desired job in the future. Here are 4 things to keep in mind to help you make the most of your internship.
1. Write down a list of skills
Your internship is a stepping stone to helping you achieve your desired position. Before starting your internship, write down the skill requirements associated with the entry level position you desire. These are the skills you should look to acquire while interning. Once you have settled in and displayed your ability to handle your delegated tasks, you may want to consider sharing your list with your manager to see if you are able to learn those skills during your internship. You could even use this list to decide between multiple internship offers in order to determine which internship opportunity offers the most value.
2. Do what is requested and ask for more
Your internship manager is likely to write you a letter of recommendation upon the end of your internship. Be sure to execute every task (no matter how miniscule) in order to display a solid work ethic and respect for authority. Once you habitually complete the tasks assigned to you, attempt to expand your workload. Consider requesting additional tasks that either showcase your abilities or allow you to learn new skills.
3. Keep track of your tasks
During your internship you should keep a list of the tasks you complete. By having a list of what you’ve accomplished, you’ll make resume building process easier in the future. Did you help grow your company’s Instagram account to over more than 2000 followers? Track it. Did you write email campaigns that doubled the unique click through and open rate? Track it. If you wait until the end of your internship to recall the specific details of your contributions, then much of the concrete numbers will be lost. Those easy-to-read and understand statistics will enhance your resume.
4. Show your personality
Aside from your work, your personality allows you to differentiate yourself. As long as you maintain proper work etiquette, showing personality is an added bonus. Remember, although you are leaving the company for now, you may never know what lies down the road. Maybe you want to return to the company as a full-time hire after graduation. And even if you don’t pursue a career in the same field, it is very likely that your manager has connections with other industry professionals, who are looking for well-liked and personable students. Never underestimate the power of a smile.