How to Make the Most out of your Internship
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How to Make the Most out of your Internship

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Getting an internship is half the battle - making the most out of that internship is where you win the war. Follow these tips to make the most out of any internships - go get 'em tiger!

Getting an internship is half the battle - making the most out of that internship is where you win the war. Follow these tips to make the most out of any internships - go get 'em tiger!

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  • 1. How To Make the Most Out of Your Internship
    PRSSA Mini Conference
    April 16, 2011
  • 2. So You Got the Internship!
    Now What?
  • 3. Sadly it’s true.
    The more you put into your internship, the more you’ll get out of it.
    So work hard – if you do it right, your internship experience will be more valuable than half the classes you’ll be forced to take in school.
    Bring fresh ideas to the table.
    You may be inexperienced, but your youthful outlook is a plus, not a minus
  • 4. Network from Day 1
    Get around, it’s not just about your boss.
    Get involved and get social.
    If you’re not on LinkedIn, get on LinkedIn.
    Ask for recommendations!
    Dig into connections, who knows whom?
    Get to know the people who know people you want to know. (It’s like that Kevin Bacon movie, but actually interesting and not silly.)
    Get “parting gifts” – aka business cards
  • 5. Ask Not What your Company Can Do for You
    Show a little gumption. Be proactive.
    Don’t just wait for assignments. Dig around and find assignments you think will be rewarding or interesting and ask to get involved.
    Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone.
    The more experience you have in different areas, the better. Your resume will thank you!
    Never underestimate the power of volunteering.
  • 6. Conversely, Ask What your Company Can Do for You
    Do NOT be afraid to ask questions.
    Asking questions makes you look smart
    Asking questions makes you seem engaged
    Asking questions leads to stronger work
    Asking questions gives you face time with others
    Make sure you’re meeting with your boss on a regular basis. If you’re not, ask to set up time.
    Know what your duties are; ask for them on paper.
  • 7. You’d Better Work (on Your Portfolio)
    It’s not just about experience, it’s about a “paper trail” of experience.
    The proof is in the pudding, so dig in!
    Hunt for “meaty” projects
    Go after projects that reflect your ambitions
    Don’t leave empty handed!
    Keep a record of all your finished work
    Get access to that color printer – but ask for permission!
  • 8. Lacking Focus?
    Look, it’s not unusual to not know what the heck you want out of life.
    Dirty Little Secret: Most of us are STILL looking
    Think of your internship as a career buffet!
    Sample a little bit of everything
    Discover what you like and what’s not to your taste
    Do more of what you like, less of what you don’t
    When you do what you like, your work will be stronger
  • 9. Ask and You Shall Receive (if you ask for what you want)
    Be sure to ask for recommendations/letters of reference WELL BEFORE your internship winds down. People get busy. They also forget!
    In the market for another internship?
    If you like your current gig, see if they’ll take you back
    They won’t have to train “fresh meat”
    If you want to mix it up, see if your boss will recommend you to another company
    If you’re good, you’ll be in demand
  • 10. Don’t be THAT Intern
    Arrive on time.
    Don’t take sick days that are really “beach days.”
    If you simply MUST, don’t miss a big meeting day
    If you are sick or will be late – call your boss.
    Dress for success.
    Be professional but socially engaging.
    Yes, they’re reading your tweets even if nobody else is
  • 11. Speaking of Social…
    Be smart.
    If you’re on Facebook, create a separate list for coworkers.
    Make sure your privacy settings are set to “kill”
    Legally you are supposed to disclose if you’re tweeting or posting about a client/business, so it’s best just to avoid it.
    If in doubt, DON’T.
  • 12. So that’s the Skinny
    Any questions?