This is a guest blog post originally written by Anjana Pillarisetty, Hireology's customer support and recruiting intern.
Internships are hard to come by, and when you are lucky enough to secure one it is important to make the most of your experience. Here are a few tips that I've learned throughout my internship journey.
1. Try to get as involved as possible
For most people, an internship isn't the only thing on one's plate. It's common to have school and maybe even a side-job as well. But it is important to dedicate as much time as you can to the organization you are interning with. Whether it is in your department or another, learning how the company works can help you do your job much more effectively. At the end of the day, all departments are connected to each other. For example, if you are in the sales department, learning how the product development department works can help you do your understand your job.
2. Ask Questions
I strongly believe that NOT asking questions can be detrimental during an internship. In a way it is part of a training procedure throughout your time at the organization. The key is to ask the right questions and to make sure you take notes so you aren’t asking the same questions twice. In my experience, Hireology supplied a guidebook explaining my role within the company. A good supervisor will be open and will be able to make time for your needs or questions you may have, especially if you have been recently hired. So take notes, ask questions, and try to understand not only the work you do, but also how your work will relate to the organization as a whole.
3. Get Feedback
At the beginning of my internship I asked one of my supervisors if I could informally meet with her for a few minutes every few weeks to talk about my performance. Feedback is very critical, not only in an internship but in any postition you'll ever hold. You will learn your strengthens and weaknesses and also be able to grow professionally. Communication is key between a supervisor and an employee. When asking for an appointment with your supervisor make sure you aren’t imposing on their schedule. Sometimes, supervisors are more comfortable giving feedback through e-mails, so let them know that it is an option. If you are wondering what type of questions to ask your supervisors, there are a few you can start the with, allowing for a few follow up questions as well including:
What am I doing right?
What do I need to work on?
What could I be doing better?
Lastly, if you are wondering how often you should ask for feedback, that depends on how long your internship is. I would recommend any time frame from weekly to monthly.
Make sure you are making the most of your internship, remember that you are there to learn and grow professionally. The knowledge you learn in an internship is valuable because it’s not something you can learn in school. Find out more about your organization and how it works, ask a lot of questions and make sure they are relevant and valuable in your field. And don't forget to ask for feedback and learn from it.
Need help hiring interns? Read through our guide below.