Summer_Success

6 Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Summer Job or Internship

Ahhh, it’s summer. It may be break time for most, but you have ambitiously taken on a summer job or internship. Congrats! It can provide a great opportunity to prepare for life after college as long as you make the most of your experience.

Summer jobs and internships aren’t just about putting cash in the bank—they’re also about learning what you’d like to do professionally and developing skills that enhance your education.

Here are six tips for ensuring that your summer job or internship is worthwhile, both for you and for the company at which you’re working.

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1. Set Goals For Yourself

Before the summer begins, write out a list of what you hope to achieve from your job or internship. Come up with 1-2 tangible skills you’d like to develop by the time the summer ends, and share these goals with your employer. Feel free to add on to this list throughout the summer, or revise if you find yourself assigned different tasks than what you initially accepted to be doing.

Bonus: Propose or keep track of projects you can potentially add to your portfolio at the end of the internship. For example, published articles if you are studying journalism, or lesson plans you drafted as a student teacher.

2. Find Tasks to Do

It’s good to listen to your manager, but being proactive can also pay off. Especially if you find yourself sitting around scrolling through social media for the umpteenth time. Take the initiative to talk to your boss about what else you can be doing to help out and, if possible, make suggestions based on what you’ve seen at the company and what your capabilities are.

3. Be Positive

As an intern or summer employee, you may find yourselves tasked with mundane things like grabbing coffee, cleaning the file cabinet or updating an Excel spreadsheet. When asked by a superior to do these things, cheerfully agree and ask if there’s anything more you can do. Take every opportunity that comes your way gladly. Seize whatever opportunities you’re given and go above and beyond the call to show your full potential.

4. Make Connections

Now’s the time be chatty. At your job or internship, introduce yourself to as many people as you can to help grow and develop your professional network. Add your supervisor and others from your company on LinkedIn, and think about who you’d be able to use as a reference or have write a recommendation letter for you. After you graduate, these connections could prove instrumental in finding a job.

5. Take Notes

You probably aren’t going to remember every single thing you’ve worked on over the course of the summer off the top of your head—and that’s OK (and normal). Jot down notes at the end of each week about what you did and what you liked/disliked. Later, this will be helpful when revising your resume and figuring out whether you’d like to do something similar after graduation.

6. Ask for Feedback

Although it’s valuable to self-reflect on your own performance, it’s perhaps more helpful to receive feedback from your superiors. Schedule a chat with your manager to discuss what you’ve been doing well and where they see room for improvement. As someone who is more experienced in the industry, your boss will be in a good position to assess your performance.

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