10 ways to make the most out of your internship:
- Participate in meetings
- Ask questions
- Reach out for help
- Take advantage of resources
- Find mentors
- Volunteer to take on more work
- Observe how other people do things
- Attend company events
- Have fun!
Participate in meetings
Participate in as many meetings as you can because meetings are where knowledge transfer happens. Woody Allen once said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” So turn up, listen, observe, and provide input.
If you don’t know something, ask. There’s no such thing as a dumb question. As an intern, everything is new and unfamiliar so ask the 5 Ws. By questioning things, you’ll learn the reasons behind decisions, practices, and processes.
Reach out for help
The special thing about being an intern is that you can use the “intern card.” With it, you get access to people’s help, understanding, and patience. Once you get their help, be appreciative of their time so you can do it again.
Take advantage of resources
If your company provides resources like talks, training, and courses, then make full use of them.
A great mentor can take your career to the next level. Depending on the person, they may coach, guide, or train you. The mentor may also provide connections to opportunities.
Volunteer to take on more work
Don’t do the minimum amount of work. Always ask for more. By helping others with their work, they’ll teach you and you’ll get hands-on experience. It’s a win-win situation. What you put in is what you get out, so invest in your internship.
Observe how other people do things
Watching how others work will give you insight on how to do your own. Pay attention to how they think, communicate, and solve problems. Apply those techniques to your own work so you can form positive habits. In software engineering, pair programming is a way for engineers to collaborate and learn from one another.
Attend company events
Company events are paid events for employees, so go to them. Whether they’re talks, book clubs, hackathons, or afterparties, they’re a great place to socialize and meet people outside your department.
There’s a saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” Thus, it’s important to network, make connections, and build relationships. You never know if one day the person you worked with becomes a referral or a reference.
Time is short so have fun and enjoy the moment. Be thankful for the experience and use it as an opportunity to grow.
What did you think? Did I cover all the areas that you can do to make the most of your internship?