Making the Most of Your Internship

First off, happy summer! I think it’s safe to say the snow won’t be returning for a while. My name is Kaley, a junior in Environmental and Ecological Engineering. By now, many of us have started that summer internship or summer job. There’s no doubt that internships can at first be overwhelming . . . suddenly you’re working forty hours a week with people twice your age! It can be very easy to get caught in the moment and underestimate your abilities. So, here are just a few tips to keep you staying positive as you spend your summer working!

1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

You’re a student in college, not someone with 20 years of experience. Your employer isn’t expecting you to know what’s going on right away, so the faster you learn the ins and outs of your job, the better off you’ll be.

2. Never stop learning.

Even when you think you’re learning something invaluable, it more than likely isn’t. An internship is the perfect opportunity to explore your career interests. Be alert of other projects going on around you that may spark your interests. If you have time, set up informational meetings with other employers who are working in positions that may be of interest to you.

3. Be pleasing to work with.

Your boss isn’t there to hold your hand and keep track of when you finish assignments. Ask for more work when you complete an assignment, and accept an assignment without complaint. Also, remember to ask for clarification if you’re unsure of the instructions given for an assignment! Oh, and remember how you thought ENGR 131/132 were pointless? Wrong! They will actually come in handy when you need to work with a team.

Basically, don’t be like this:

4. Establish friendships with other interns.

Many companies often hire multiple interns, so while you’re off in some city you’ve never been to before, why not explore and meet new people? Go to concerts, learn the history of your city, and go to the lake, or the beach if you’re lucky to live near one. Might as well explore with new friends than alone, right? Also, having friendships with people you work with makes going to work more exciting!

Invest in your internship as much as you can. You know that cliché saying, “You get out of it what you put into it”? Well, it’s true. Be sincere, interested, open-minded, and confident that you can learn and improve.

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