How to Maximise your Internship Placement

In today’s competitive job market an internship will give you invaluable experience to use when transitioning from university graduate into the workforce.

Modern day internships aid students in gaining practical on-the-job training experiences in a real workplace through practising & understanding day-to-day tasks, employee interactions and challenges of a working environment. It is the best way to prepare you for your first job!

Here are our top tips on how to get the most out of your internship to help set you up for a successful career:

Build Relationships
Don’t be shy! Use this opportunity to connect with colleagues and build relationships within the company. This can be as simple as initiating a conversation around the office or offering to buy a co-worker a coffee (who doesn’t love a coffee?). Developing a strong network early in your career can often lead to future opportunities as cultural fit in a workplace is seen to be important!

Give it 100%
Treat your internship like a job. It’s not about ‘ticking a box’ to get an internship out of the way. Employers who take on interns generally can tell early on who is giving their all and who is cruising. Employers will also provide great references or even job outcomes for outstanding interns!

Ask Questions
There is no such thing as a stupid question when you are an intern! Supportive workplaces understand you are there to learn, and by asking questions, it will allow you to soak up as much knowledge as possible and perform your internship at an optimal level.

Be Punctual
Always be on time! Nothing says ‘I’m not that keen’ like tardiness, so aim to arrive at least 15 minutes early to avoid being late. You don’t want to be sprinting through the door in a pool of sweat just to make it on time.

Goal Setting
Set clear goals during your internship. Have a purpose and use the first meeting with your supervisor/mentor to discuss expectations and set goals. By establishing these, you’ll have a reference point to keep you on track throughout the duration of your internship.

Pay careful attention
New workplaces can feel overwhelming at times, so it’s important to stay focused and keep track of the requirements in your role. Actively listen and take notes when receiving instructions. Use a ‘to-do’ list to prioritise your tasks. This will show your employer you are an engaged, organised and will help better manage your workload.

To further optimise your experience, it’s also always a good idea to research the company prior to placement. Going the extra mile and paying attention will make you stand out from the crowd.

Welcome Feedback
Actively seek feedback from supervisors and colleagues. Find out what you can be doing better and put plans in place to action the feedback. While it can be difficult to hear criticism, the knowledge you gain will help improve your performance, resilience and help set you up for a successful career post-internship. If a supervisor is taking on an intern, generally they enjoy helping people develop. The process of feedback can be beneficial to both you and your supervisor

In any workplace there will be times when the call goes out for people to pitch in and help outside of their normal job. This may be something as simple as helping carry deliveries into the office, helping organise a social function or being involved in a cross-department project. Ask your supervisor first, and then volunteer! It showcases your work ethic, demonstrates your willingness to work within a team, and exposes you to different departments to help build your network.

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