Tips for getting the most out of your internship:
- Participate in planned intern opportunities at your company or lab. If thereare no opportunities for interns, ask your boss if you can take the lead on creating them! These activities are usually fun, but they are also great opportunities to network with your peers. You never know when this will become extremely beneficial in the future (i.e., if they take a future position at a company you’re interested in, collaborations on research, etc.).
- Ask if the company or lab offers any training courses that you can take advantage during your time there.
- Conduct yourself professionally, no matter how ‘relaxed’ of an environment it may feel like it is. You have a limited amount of time to make an impression. There are many ways to be friendly and have a great time without compromising your professionalism.
- Take initiative! Do you have a clear idea of your goals this summer? Are there well-defined tasks for you to follow or are you expected to make your own? Do you know what your boss’s expectations are? How will you measure your progress (i.e., weekly/bi-weekly meetings, certain number of tasks performed, etc)? Don’t be afraid to ask these questions — not only will it help ensure that you get the most out of your internship, but it will also show that you are interested in being a productive employee.
- Two key phrases in the intern’s vocabulary
- “I’m not sure I understood that. Can we go over it?”
- “I need some help on the task I am working on. Would you be able to help?”
- Neither of these phrases make you seem weak or make you appear stupid. On the contrary, it shows sincerity, maturity, and willingness to understand/adapt to new things.