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Tips to Make the Most of An Internship

A desk with a plant and monitor with 2 chairs and a calendar on the wall.

What Is The Benefit of Internship? 

A big part of a career journey is building up your skills and resume through experience in the workforce. A great way to do this is through an internship. Your placement is a great time to work on building or refining skills and allows you to apply your school knowledge to real-world projects. Finally, along with what you will learn while working, your placement could lead to a full-time job offer! 

Read our How To Apply For an Internship blog if you need to get started! 

Internship advice for students 

Getting accepted into an internship program can be a very exciting opportunity for students. If this is your first job, know that the experience will be different from that of your school. It is very important to be professional even if your internship is unpaid and/or virtual.

Are you thinking of ways to make the most out of your internship?  We have compiled a list of great internship tips to help! 

  • Buy your PPE – If you are entering an environment where personal protective equipment (PPE) is required, you will want to get this ahead of time. This is particularly important for women who may find that company-provided PPE might not fit well. Look for companies like Covergalls who can help you dress safely and comfortably.
  • Be punctual – Being on time is important. If you want to be memorable, show up on time. Employers make notes on future hires, and at the very least, you’ll want to use this placement as a future reference.
  • Set clear expectations/goals – This is usually done from the beginning, but if it hasn’t been covered, request a meeting to set clear expectations and goals so that you both maximize the experience.
  • Know who to report to – Where do you go if you have a problem? You may be assigned to someone that doesn’t actually work in the same location as you so be sure to know where you are supposed to go for help, assistance, or to get new assignments.
  • Be enthusiastic – You may be given mundane tasks but show your patience and reliability by finishing the work and asking for additional tasks. If there isn’t any other work for you to do, ask what you are allowed to do in your free time; take advantage of downtime to observe others or learn about things related to the job (through reading, podcasts, etc.).
  • Introduce yourself – Depending on the company’s onboarding process, you might not be introduced to everyone. When you meet new people, tell them who you are.
  • Take it all in – Listen to everyone who shares knowledge with you, take notes, ask for job shadowing opportunities.
  • Take notes – Write down what you are learning so that trainers do not have to repeat themselves, and so that you have a written record of things you did during placement (great for resume updates!).
  • Focus on quality – Do you work to the best of your ability. Ask questions so that you know you are on the right track and always double-check your work before submitting it.
  • Own your mistakes – If you have done something wrong, don’t try to cover it up. Be the first to bring that mistake forward and focus on how to correct the action for the future. Depending on the work you do, a small mistake can have a snowball effect, so honesty and timeliness are key.
  • Build relationships – Get to know everyone you have contact with and take advantage of social gatherings to help build your network. At the end of your placement, ask these contacts to leave you feedback on your LinkedIn profile.
  • Ask for feedback – This may be part of your regular meetings, but certainly, at the end of your placement, you will want to ask for feedback so you can identify areas for growth.

An internship period is a golden opportunity for students who are interested in career planning to get a head start. It is important that the work you do be done diligently.

Work hard and smart to make the best impression!

For more internship resources you can also check out Internship Advice for women in Canada.

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