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Tips to Take Full Advantage of Your Summer Internship

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The summer is approaching quickly and so is the new summer intern season. Thousands of eager young college students and recent grads will rush to apply for internship positions across the country. They are all smart and positive, ready to handle any problem of the world and willing to do anything to impress their employers.

However, the statistics say that by the second week of their internship many interns start getting disappointed with the mundane tasks they are assigned and feel frustrated to see that their supervisors do not consider them to be experienced and ready to do something more challenging than sorting mail or answering phone calls.

Losing their enthusiasm for work, interns inevitably become less focused and assiduous, which finally results into the employer and student’s mutual disappointment with each other. Clearly understanding what steps you should take as an intern can mean the difference between landing a job of your dream and wasting your time.

All internships look similarly good on your resume but what you get out of each is vital. Here are tips on how to find an interesting internship, how to behave during the interview and what to do to benefit from your internship experience.

1.Find the right internship.

Your campus career center might be the right place to start looking for an internship. Career advisers will help you find a summer job that suits your skills and interests, they’ll also contact employers on your behalf. It is recommendable to start early so that you have enough time to be choosy. If the career center is unable to help, you might try to search special websites including, that offer internship listings and contacts. Social networking sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook can also be a valuable source of internship-related information.

2.Ask questions during the interview.

Once you have applied for an intern position, it is time to start preparing for an interview with a potential employer. While a lot has been said about how to behave during such interviews, there is one thing many applicants often forget about. Asking questions is the prerogative of both sides. If you are serious about becoming an intern with this particular company and it is not just a backup option, take interview preparation seriously. Make a list of question you’d like your interviewer to answer and rehearse asking them. Knowing what to say and actually saying it are two different things. Your asking questions is not only a good way to increase your awareness, but also to show a potential boss that you are genuinely interested in the job.

3.Find an understanding and supportive mentor.

Many internship programs provide students with mentors and supervisors who can give valuable feedback and share their knowledge and expertise. A good mentor is always available to answer intern’s questions relevant to the job. Apart from that, such relationship can be extremely important when you actually start seeking full-time employment in the field.

4.Evaluate your progress halfway.

When you made it to the halfway point of your summer internship, it is time to assess your progress. That is the time when many interns become so comfortable with their jobs that they stop being hyper-active and super-efficient. That is a wrong thing to do. Instead of getting too relaxed, ask your supervisor to evaluate your performance. If they say you are doing just fine, try to do even better! Ask for new tasks and more responsibility. Even if it does not guarantee you a job after all, it surely will add to your experience.

5.“That” conversation.

Sooner or later every intern thinks about this difficult and sometimes awkward conversation. It is perfectly normal to feel uncomfortable and nervous in such situation, but don’t put your coordinator on the spot by asking if they are going to hire you. Instead sit down with this person and politely ask them for advice or a letter of recommendation if you are seeking one. Remember that your internship does not necessarily guarantee you employment but can help to establish some useful contacts that will pay off later.


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