Six steps to get the most out of your internship

Six steps to get the most out of your internship

 Six steps to get the most out of your internship

The only way to succeed in an internship is to not treat it as one. 
 
Think of it as a stop gap arrangement and you won''t be able to juice it for what it''s really worth. 
 
Here''s how you can make the most of your internship and boost your career.
 
1) Ask for work. Then work like a horse
Make sure your plate is full at all times. If not, ask for more work. Then slog harder than ever before. 
 
Start early. Be the first to reach office. Be the last to leave and meet people who have stayed in late to handle a crisis.
 
Join them and offer a helping hand even if it is getting the photocopying done. 
 
Your commitment and diligence will get you and your work noticed.
 
2) Make yourself a pest
Two weeks before you join, reach out to your manager to know more about the organisation. On joining, introduce yourself, greet people and ask questions about everything you don''t understand. 
 
Read up more and ask more insightful questions the next time. Aim to be present everywhere where there is action. 
 
Your initiative will pay you back in terms of learning and tangible rewards.
 
3)Forget about your pay
Do not let money determine your choice of internship. Seek unpaid internships over paid ones. 
 
When you are not paid, you are fully focused on how well you are utilising your time. 
 
The second benefit is that you open up your horizons to opportunities ranging from a non-profit in Central Africa to a research analyst with the Planning Commission, from data crunching for a political party to developing a media strategy for a start-up.
 
4) Build networks
Use this opportunity to connect with as many new people as you can — from colleagues, clients, vendors and other interns. 
 
You will bump into many of them in your career. Build lasting relationships by getting to know people beyond their immediate work. 
 
Go out for lunch or a coffee to bond with them. 
 
Attend office and industry events. Stay in touch with your contacts even after you leave through emails, congratulatory notes and calls.
 
5) Follow all the rules
Every office has a set of written and a larger set of unwritten rules. Observe others and speak to your mentor to decode your office culture and environment.
 
If your internship is less than three months, do not ask for leave. 
 
Avoid cultural gaffes like turning up in jeans when a major client is visiting office. 
 
Pay attention to office happenings but stay away from both politics and gossip. Don''t align yourself to any group.
 
6) Document every step
Above everything else, deliver the goods. Make a dent in the workplace through your output. Maintain a record of your work for posterity. 
 
Identify the problem statement that you were working on, challenges, resources available, time line, planning and efforts you put in and the final outcome. 
 
If you have done multiple projects email a note to yourself on each one. 
 
This will help you carry talking points to future job interviews. 
 

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