How to maximize your internship

 In Cultivate

So, you’re doing an internship this summer… Or maybe you’re considering doing one? Either way, we obviously believe in them, so we’ve put together a list of how you can maximize your internship experience!

First, let’s talk about some ways you can grow yourself professionally –

  • Look for a position suited to your skillset: while an internship is sure to provide a rich experience in and of itself (which we’ll talk about more later!), it’s equally about enhancing your competencies. Which, coincidentally is a benefit to both you and your employer – giving your project the specialized care needed for the job, while also expanding that resume of yours for future vocational pursuits.
  • Use your skills to their fullest! Remember, you’ve been chosen for the job because of your particular professional experience + expertise. Don’t put those to waste! The more you utilize your abilities, the more your project will thank you, and so will your manager! This is a great way to show off what you’re good at, and a free way to market yourself for future opportunities both within your place of work as well as outside.
  • Give it all your focus! No matter how long you’ll be there, give your internship the time, dedication and commitment it deserves. This is SUCH a character assessment for employers! If they see that you’re hard-working and follow through with what’s been asked of you, you can bet they’ll entrust you with more and will remember you when they consider who to hire the next time a position opens up.
  • Network within the institution. Seriously! For a certain amount of time, you have the real opportunity to build connections with personnel of all different levels – peers, managers and even top executive leadership! Don’t take this lightly. Rather, use the occasion to glean and apply all that you can – something we like to call mentor moments. Because after all, we learn best from other people, am I right? 

Now, let’s not forget the equally important ways you can grow personally –

  • Embrace all the experience has to offer. We mean it – in the happy moments, dull moments, and yes, maybe a few not-so-great moments – there’s always something to learn. Choose to meet each and every moment with an open hand and learn all that you can from it. These moments will lay a foundation for the future, providing you with perspective and wisdom to apply as each situation requires.
  • Build life-long friendships. Let’s not forget the interns alongside you! As you go through the program, there are others who are in the same life stage as you with the same struggles, hopes, and aspirations for what this time can mean for them. You can be such a support to each other through the thick and thin of it all! And who knows, any one of them could become a future travel buddy or friend for life, as many of our alumni can attest to.
  • Acquire memories that will last a lifetime. As Downton Abbey’s all-knowing Mr.Carson poetically said, “life is the acquisition of memories”, and we full-heartedly agree! Yes, an internship is a time to practice professional skills and build your resume for future work opportunities, but don’t forget that life is truly made full by the memories we take along with us. Put that heart into your time with a program, and you’re sure to come away with gratitude for the experience.
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