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Make the Most of Your Summer Internship
College students everywhere are getting ready to start their summer internships. In a recent talk on Facebook Live, Director of Career Education and Innovation Alyssa Hammond gave her top five tips to help students excel in a summer internship.
Find a Mentor
You will meet many people during your internships. Try to find one person whom you click with and ask them to be your mentor. Mentors are wonderful sources of guidance, knowledge, and inspiration, especially in a new work environment. They not only help you get the lay of the land (where is the coffee machine?), but help you navigate the waters around you (what’s the protocol when you need to come in late?). Finding that person will make your internship a much better experience.
Don’t be shy, say hi! Make it a point to meet one new colleague every week. Say hi while you’re in the elevator or while making copies. See if they will have lunch or coffee with you - it’s the perfect opportunity to find out what they do and how they got there. It’s an easy way to learn about different career paths, grow your network and position yourself favorably if you’d like to return after your internship is over.
Be a Go-Getter
Don’t ever sit idle. If your work is complete, find things to do and ask for more projects. Employers respect and value a great work ethic and self-starters so if you demonstrate those qualities, you will have a greater chance of getting more substantive work and making a positive impact.
Ask For Help
Your new employer does not expect you to know what to do. So don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are not sure how to do something. Better to learn how to do something the right way from those who know rather than to doing something blindly and ending up with a poor result.
Highlight your new skills on your resume.
You can do it as you go along in the internship or when it’s over. Possibilities include communications skills, team work, the ability to work independently and organizational skills. If your work included connecting with any customers or clients, even answering phones, this translates to “providing excellent customer service” on your resume. If your internship experience included a range of administrative tasks this means you can add “multi-tasking” to your skill set. These are all highly valuable soft skills you should showcase on your resume.
President Larson, along with guest experts, joined Bloomberg’s Carol Massar and Cory Johnson, to talk about how college and universities are preparing graduates to navigate diverse environments.