How to Prepare for Your Summer Internship
I am currently undertaking an internship in Stockholm, Sweden. I’m two weeks into the eight-week programme, and in all honesty, I’m loving it. It has been a massive learning curve for me already – I’ve learnt to adapt to a new culture, a new set of people, and change my life around from being a student to a full-time, working woman. Last year, I also undertook an internship (this time in London), and I realised there were some similarities between the two processes. It makes sense, therefore, to highlight some of the steps I went through in order to make the transition easier.
1. Research Company
To have passed the CV stage, the interview stage, and the assessment stage, I would presume that you would have done at least some research into the company that you are to be working for. However, before starting the internship, I would highly recommend finding out more specific details. For example, you could see if there are any recent news articles written about them. There could have been a change in CEO, a new working policy, or even some event that your company was part of. Whatever it might be, it would be good to drop your knowledge into conversation whilst at the internship. This will not only show your interest in the company but also your desire to go further and beyond the research required.
2. Make a Bucketlist
Bucket lists don’t just have to consist of fulfilling your life long desire to jump out of a plane. Personally, I love using bucket lists to plan out my life for the upcoming weeks/months/year. Before starting this current internship, I decided what I wanted to achieve within the next two months. This consisted of educational goals but also personal goals. For instance, I would like to learn more about digital marketing. I told this to my mentor and arranged some workshops on that for the upcoming week. I would also really like to get into a good fitness routine, where I go to the gym four times a week. By taking these small steps and giving reminders to yourself, it eases the process of progress. Rome was not built in a day, and a six-pack wasn’t either.
3. Make LinkedIn your new best friend
This might not be applicable to every internship, but I found that a lot of people in corporate environments love LinkedIn. So my tip would be to get familiar with it. Instead of scrolling through pointless memes on Facebook, I have found myself scrolling through thought-provoking articles on LinkedIn. It serves the exact same purpose of wasting time (lol) but you look a lot more professional doing it. Additionally, you might want to check out the LinkedIn of the company you are working in. This refers back to the first point I made, whereby you will want to find out about what is happening with said company. LinkedIn is a good platform to start on, especially if the company is active on social media. Whilst you’re at it, maybe you’d want to improve your own LinkedIn profile, as many people you will meet during your internship might want to add you in order to network with their interns. Having a good, detailed profile would, therefore, be not only important but also might potentially lead to future employment, if your contact is suitably impressed.
4. Prepare questions
The purpose of an internship is to learn and discover more about your interests. Assuming that your internship wasn’t chosen at random and is, in fact, in a section of work that you are interested in, then you should be open and curious. Think of potential questions that you might want to ask your employees, and actively participate in discussions when you can not only show off your knowledge of the company (Point One), but also your engagement within their wider field.
5. Be Active
This kind of summarises everything I have said above: be active. Actively search what you are looking for; actively strive towards your goals. You have come so far in order to obtain an internship, that you shouldn’t falter at the final hurdle. An internship is an amazing opportunity, one where you can learn and grow – but only if you choose to. In order to get the most out of it, you will have to want to push yourself into new, uncomfortable situations in order to stretch yourself and gain new understandings. Whatever happens, your employees will know that you are an intern, and will be willing to help you along your journey. So chin up, keep smiling, and enjoy the ride.