Top 10 Tips for Interns
Joining an internship is a great way to gain practical hands on work experience, make professional contacts and boost your career.
Internships can also be a really fun and insightful opportunity and if you are going to be interning for the first time there are lots of important things to consider.
If you are wondering how to prepare or make the most out of the experience check out our advice how to make your internship a success.
1. How to Get a Placement
Firstly, if you are just getting starting and wondering how to apply for your first job or internship, you might be suprised to learn that the work experience and job markets are very competative and getting hried can be a challenge.
But there are so lots of companies offering internships and careers in the UK, USA and around the world who hire thousands of interns every year in various different industries.
You can apply direct with companies, usually online, which can be competative especially with tech/multinational companies. If you are a student, sometimes your college or university can help you to find placements.
Some agencies offer international internships which can be an exciting way to experience living abroad, possibly improve your language skills and travel to see new places in your free time.
Structured placements abroad can include flights, accommodation, and in-country support and a great way to actually get an entry on your CV as sometimes applying to placements near where you live can be really different to get accepted.
2. Choose the Right Company
Be sure to check internship reviews and feedback in advance on websites like Facebook and Linkedin to make sure companies are reputable and worthwhile.
You can find internships in so many different industries, make sure you pick an area which interests you. Every company and placement is different so make sure you pick the right one for you which matches your interests and ambitions.
These are some of the most popular industries to apply:
- Human Rights
- Interior Design
- Medical and Healthcare
- Social Media
- Sustainable Development
3. Choose the Right Destination
Where do you want to go? Do you want to stay close to home or how about the experience of living and working abroad?
There are lots of companies who offer internships in the United Kingdom, whilst if you are seeking amazing experience and are keen to live in a different culture why not apply to intern abroad.
There are so many reasons to intern abroad, this really can change your life. Depending on the industry most placements are usually in larger cities where most companies are located.
You can apply all around the world, these pages can help your search:
- Intern in Africa
- Intern in Asia
- Intern in Europe
- Intern in Central America
- Intern in South America
- Intern in North America
- Intern in Oceania & Pacific
- Intern in Middle East
If you are planning to intern in a different country, great decision. But you need to know the local customs, both workwise and culturally when it comes to interning especially in foreign countries. Every location/company/country is different. Researching before starting your placement will really help you while you are in your destination both in the workplace and outside.
4. Be on Time
Most companies generally work between 9 to 6 and make sure you have enough to reach to reach your office or location so you are not late especially in your first week. Being late will be considered unprofessional behaviour, for example if you are going to apply for internships in the USA, people there are very specific about timings and it can reflect bad on your if you are late.
5. Make a Good First Impression
When you meet your colleagues for the first time find out their names and be friendly. Get as much information as possible by chatting with them and try to learn about the company/placement. Be interested and seem keen to learn or help. You can learn a lot by asking staff questions, don't be shy! It will show you are interested and also improve your learning, after all people are a great source of knowledge.
6. Wear the Right Clothes
Dress well to make a good impression. Your clothing must be immaculate and formal if you are on a professional/business placement. What you wear can really help improve other peoples impressions of you.
7. Be Patient
Some internships, especially when first starting can be sightly boring especially if you are working in an office. The chances of getting delegated lots of exciting projects straight away are unlikely, but hang in there, and offer to do everything. Remember, there are so many benefits of internships and just having this entry on your CV can be really helpful to landing a future job.
8. Stay Nearby
If you are going to be gaining work experience somewhere other than where you live see where you are going to be working and choose a location close by to stay. There are likely hotels, hostels and other accommodation available. If you are on a short term placement you don't want to be spending too much time commuting.
9. Be Professional
Try to keep the conversation professional in the office/work environment unless other people ask personal things. Internships and the people you meet can lead to full time employment so it is important you make leave a lasting impression. When you do come to applying for jobs after your placement you will also likely need to have a contact who can provide a positive reference so its vital you do as well as you can.
10. Enjoy the Experience
Internships are work, but they can also be a lot of fun and whether you get a placement at home, or apply to intern abroad, the placement will go quickly so try to learn as much as possible. If you are friendly hopefully you will make new professional contacts or even friends. A placement could also lead to being offering full time employment.
Have you ever completed an internship program? Do you have any advice to share? Let us know in the comments section.