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How to Make the Most of Your Paid Internship

Last updated July 6, 2021

Create new relationships

This is a great opportunity to grow your network and meet new people! Having strong personal and professional relationships can help you grow and strengthen your career in the future. This may force you to step out of your comfort zone - but be brave! Say hi to your new coworkers, join work social events, and learn about the work being done around the office.

Set personal and professional goals

Do you want to work on specific skills? Explore a potential career path? Want to grow your experience working on a specific project or area of expertise? This is a great time to do that! But to do it efficiently you need to set goals! Make sure you are clear about what you want to accomplish, being as detailed as possible, and set a deadline for each. This will help you stay on track and adjust your goals if needed.

Take initiative

Days at your internships will sometimes be challenging, busy, or jam packed with responsibilities, but other times you may find yourself with fewer items on your to-do list. Don’t just sit around waiting to be told what to do! This is the perfect time to take initiative and take on new assignments or tasks. Going above and beyond shows your boss you are driven and can work independently - qualities that increase the likelihood of getting an invite back!

Find a mentor

A mentor can help you grow and develop both at your internship and after. Mentors can give you advice, write you a letter of recommendation, and help you make important connections throughout your career journey.

Keep a journal of the experience

Take time during your internship to write out not only what you did each day but the exciting moments, the way successes (and missteps) make you feel, and questions you have about the experience. Journaling is a great way to document what you’ve learned and provide insights to your further career. This type of log might also be required by your school or the internship itself, so be sure to check and see what info you should be collecting throughout your internship and how to appropriately document it. Lastly, later in life when you’re thinking about trying out a new job or preparing for an interview, you can reread your journal and reflect on your experience!

Looking to land a paid internship so you can practice these five tips? Here are five places you can start your search or head over to JobLaunch and browse internships in your neighborhood!

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