How to Get Ready for Your Internship

15/02/18

With your internship date approaching, what are the key areas you need to prepare for in order to allow yourself every opportunity to succeed? We all know that life can be busy with multiple commitments and responsibilities, but with the right preparation, you can do it all!  

Picture this: Your Placement Consultant calls you and says that you have been selected by a company to start your internship placement! You’re excited and eager to start this new chapter and make the most of this opportunity. Pay special attention to the following areas and you will surely give yourself every chance to shine during your internship.

Knowledge

You refreshed your technical knowledge prior to your interview, and that is one reason why you were selected. Well done! Now let’s take it a step further.

  • Did the interviewer make any comments during your interview relating to your internship position that you could research or practice before you start?
  • Continue to build on your technical knowledge. We know that your ability to communicate your technical knowledge in an interview is great, that’s why you were selected after your interview. But how will it fair in practice?
  • How can you better familiarise yourself with the company? Continue looking on their website, understanding their competitors and the industry that they are in. This way, when you arrive on your first day you will already have a solid foundation to build on over the next 12 weeks.

Preparing in this way will show your mentor right from the start that you are serious about committing to your internship and that you will put in the extra effort to achieve success. You have already made a good first impression in the interview and now you are confirming that your mentor made the right decision in selecting you. Setting this positive impression right from the beginning will influence your mentor in trusting you and allocating more tasks and responsibility to further enhance your learning.

Finances

There’s no escaping your financial responsibilities, therefore it’s important to put in some serious time and effort into devising an airtight plan to manage this area. It’s a skill that will benefit you for life. When your finances are in order, you will be able to focus on your internship, without the extra pressure of needing to take on more shifts at your part time job if you have one.

How can you do this? It will take discipline! In the few months leading up to your internship placement, put away some funds weekly. Set an exact amount so you have a clear target and remember that you are saving to cover a period of 12 weeks. You may need to reduce spending on some luxuries, but it will be worth it when your mind is free to absorb all the new things you will learn and not be worried about paying bills.

It’s a known fact that you are at your best when you are thinking clearly and that affects everything you do, so make that happen through effective budgeting prior to your internship.             

Time allocation

Time can be a scarce commodity at times, especially when you have multiple priorities and responsibilities, but the right preparation and planning will make you feel confident and at ease about embarking on this new chapter.

If you are working part time, ensure you have notified your employer of your internship start date well in advance. Although it may not be an easy conversation to have, the more notice you provide your employer the more time they will have to plan for you reducing your hours or changing your days. This shows consideration and organisation; both very positive behaviours to display in the workplace. It will also give you time to make other arrangements if your employer cannot accommodate this change.

How can you effectively allocate your time? Draw up a schedule once you know the days of your placement. Set aside days or timeslots for studying, part time work and also rest. If you are working part time, make sure you have not overcommitted. Seeing the 12 weeks in a visual way will clarify where you are spending your time and whether you have enough time to accomplish everything you want to.        

Attitude

The right attitude is essential and often industry experts will say it is the key ingredient to achieving success. Keep an open mind and remember that your internship placement is an opportunity. View every task that is given to you as an opportunity to learn and contribute, regardless of what the task is. Always think about how you can get involved in more, and with that attitude you will surely stand out from all other interns!

With the right preparation you will ensure a smooth transition to your internship and give yourself every chance to build a successful professional career. Good luck!

 

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