The age-old myth of shaping your career on the basis of good grades or college is a pass. The internship is a great way to give a head start to your career.
In India, an internship is compulsory in B-School, Medical Colleges, and Engineering Colleges as a part of the curriculum, but one can apply to become an intern at any stage. It is a means to get on-the-job training, to gain practical experience. Internships act as a guiding light for the confused souls who are struggling to understand where to fit in. It not only helps in exploring different career options but also gives your resume a great boost.
For all you Intern’s out there, it’s time to understand the difference between college and corporate environment. The transition from college to work may be difficult, but we will help you get that edge over others. It’s important that you leave an imprint and make the most of this opportunity, so here you go:
From the first day, carry a professional attitude. You don’t want to show them the carefree image of a college student. Your actions and behavior matter a lot and you are constantly being observed. Learn to be responsible and organized. Whether it’s dressing up or meeting deadlines, handle all of this with professionalism. Being part of office politics & gossips is a big NO!!
Be Curious and Enthusiastic
Make the most of your internship as this is the initial learning phase; ask as many questions as you want, keep them relevant though. You are surrounded by an experienced lot from whom you can learn a great deal, take advantage of this. Impress them with your eagerness – it’s a common belief that people who ask more questions are willing to learn more. Be receptive and attentive – make sure whatever is being taught goes straight to your head. Don’t expect to be spoon-fed!
Be Goal-oriented & open to Criticism
Keep your eye on the goal – from day one set the goals that you personally want to achieve in this tenure and discuss the same with your mentor. Your mentor can help you in getting the best out of you. Also, keep a tab on your accomplishments. Do ask for feedback on a regular basis; this shows that you not only want to learn but also to improve and are willing to make changes within yourself.
From colleagues to managers, try to develop a professional and courteous relationship with everyone. Reach out and greet everyone you meet as this helps you get noticed; it will also help to give out a positive and friendly impression. Don’t forget to nurture the relationships that you develop during this tenure; nowadays social networking sites have made this task much easier. This networking will not only help you during the internship but might even be beneficial later in your career. So mingle up child!
Less emphasis on Stipend
Don’t raise your expectations much about the salary; we wish all internships were paid, but many don’t and some that do, offer a meager amount. The payoffs of an internship are far deeper than that – you will gain on-the-job experience, you will get a chance to network, and it’s a great boost for self-confidence. Trust us the advantages of this learning expedition go far beyond your paycheque and you will eventually realize it’s worth it. Don’t you worry child, there will be a hell lot of opportunities to earn money but this will let you enhance your learning curve.
Grunt work: Just be a Good Sport!
You came to do new and interesting things but instead get to do a lot of boring and repetitive work, we know it sucks. However, if some grunt work is assigned to you complete it with the same level of energy as you apply to other tasks as no work is big or small. Remember nothing goes in vain, people keep a tab of every little thing you do. Don’t let these things disturb you; just focus on the big picture and rest everything else will fall in its place.
Showcase your skills and a Confident You
We understand you are new to this and might be a little nervous and worried, but being intimidated by your seniors or other fellow colleagues is not going to help. In life, you will come across such situations now and again; it’s your approach that matters so start from here itself. Be comfortable with who you are and confident of what you know, be self-aware of your worth and just do the work assigned to you with full sincerity. Turn this situation to your benefit; learn from the strength and virtues of your seniors and peers. Don’t get overwhelmed by what you can’t do or don’t know; rather focus on learning it.
Send thank you notes to all the people who helped you in any way, this will leave a psychological impact on them. These little things do count a lot! And I have seen it at my startup.
Follow this way and surely your supervisor will sing your praise. As an intern you are lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the corporate world, just make it worthwhile. These little thoughtful things will not only leave a lasting impression but may even end up getting you a permanent position. Good Luck!
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Richa has been working in this career counselling industry for 8+ years. She holds expertise in research and analysis of careers, jobs, and industries. She has written extensively about many other subjects too. Her other interests include literature, design, and knowledge sharing.