Life in the UK
The Ultimate Guide for a Successful Internship
An internship is a great way for an undergraduate student to be exposed to the job market. Big companies provide internships that last between 2 and 6 months. A variety of approaches is offered to intern such as an orientation to company policies, products, and services, in house classes with company presentations, computer-based learning, job rotation to different departments and on-the-job training. The internship provides the opportunity to young students to gain an overview of the operations of a company, gain experiences, understand the processes that firms follow and learn skills valued in the market like organization, communication, adaptability, time management, teamwork, flexibility.
Here, I will share some useful tips to all those young aspiring professionals who are bringing themselves into the real world, benefiting from an internship and making a leap to a successful new career:
1. Be prepared. Before you start your internship interview do your homework. Do your research in advance. Read everything you can find on the internet about the company, the history, the size, the products, the clients, recent news, who are the competitors. Self-study and preparation are paramount to launch a successful internship program.
2. Dress up following the company’s dress code which can vary from formal to more casual but try to create your own personal style that makes you look professional and gives you confidence.
3. Be on time for work, for meetings, for lunch. Punctuality in the business environment is a much-appreciated characteristic of professionalism. Never leave first even if you have no work to do.
4. You have to listen. Listen effectively to what your colleagues are saying, while they are sharing their experiences about managing and leading. Keep frequent eye contact. You are giving them respect by listening. It is a powerful way to develop strong business relationships and gain applied knowledge.
5. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions. It is the best way to learn and it shows interest. Keep your questions simple and to the point.
6. Observe, explore and absorb everything, the work methods, the principles, the standards, the management rules. Soak up as much as you can.
7. Always keep notes. The learning will be intensive so it would be wise to write down notes for further reviews and learning.
8. Have a positive attitude. All tasks small or big have the same importance. Do everything with a smile. Be always helpful and show respect and gratitude for the opportunity given to you.
9. Hard work fuelled by enthusiasm and passion is the best way to thrive and make a difference.
10. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Admit your mistakes and learn from them. The capability to recognize that you are not infallible is a skill and will help you to continuously grow in your career.
11. Some employers encourage you to be creative, to share your new fresh ideas. Do it. Voice your opinion. Make yourself indispensable to the company and it could lead to a hiring position for you!
12. Interact with interesting people and make new friendships. After the end of the internship, be sure to follow up with calls, emails, cards. Networking is a tool for young professionals.