Internships can be an extremely effective way for graduates to gain the much needed experience they need to secure their first job. A High Fliers study found that graduates who have worked for a period of time as an intern are three times more likely to land a job, with employers now looking for experience to supplement a degree.
Nevertheless, if you really want to make inroads into your chosen profession, you will need to do everything in your power to impress during your time interning. The question is, how do you get the most from your internship?
Take the initiative
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, the most important thing an intern can do is take the initiative and deliver results better than the senior management expected. Absolutely nothing stands out more than job performance – and if you are able to produce a piece of work that gets attention for all the right reasons during your placement period, then you would have made a lasting impression.
Networking presents the opportunity to build connections within your industry by speaking to as many people as possible. Although it may not be of value to you in the short-term, a rolodex of contacts will likely be a benefit in the long-term. In business, building connections and having good people around you is essential to success, and if you have been able to network yourself successfully, who knows what opportunities might come your way? Maybe a job offer?
Remember why you are there
Keep things in perspective – remember that you are interning to gain some vital experience and get a foot in the door. Do not at any time take it for granted. You have been accepted over many other applicants, so it is in your best interest to be humble and make the most of the opportunity.
Dress to impress
In business, the first impression you make is visual; so it is vital that you dress smart and appropriately for the field you are working in. It is better being the smartest dressed individual in the room than the most causal. Dressing smartly not only gives a good impression, but makes it clear that you are there to make a difference.
It is best to ask to as many questions as possible and know what you are doing, rather than stay quiet and make mistakes. Interns after all are expected to ask questions and soak up information. It shows an enthusiasm for the job, and a willingness to work hard and learn.
Interns who come to work with a good attitude and a will to succeed are likely to benefit from their experience by making new contacts, improving their skill-set and gaining an invaluable insight into their chosen industry – something which continues to benefit so many graduates in the jobs market today.
At Intern Avenue, we have a system in place that creates a “meeting ground” for employers and candidates. Graduates looking to apply for a paid internship have free access to opportunities offered by organisations including AOL, Dr Martins and the Bank of England. Additionally employers have a database at their fingertips containing thousands of profiles with the ability to headhunt candidates they deem suitable.
If you’re looking for a paid internship, visit us at www.internavenue.com