So, you’ve landed an internship... Congratulations! Or perhaps you’re applying for internships and want be sure you’re prepared for what’s ahead. Either way, good on you for pursuing this valuable experience.
Regardless of where you’re at with your internship process, Landus HR Business Partner, Kami McDonough is here to share her most valuable tips to help you see success in your internship.
An internship in any field is encouraged while you’re in college. If there’s an opportunity to learn more about a professional setting, it’s going to be in your best interest to pursue it. In some instances, this comes in the form of an internship, a job shadow, or even a part-time job. In any major or study, internships provide experience that’s virtually unobtainable in a classroom environment.
When taking an internship, you are always entering a win-win situation. An internship can confirm you are in the right field; or it can show you other areas of better-suited interest.
Landus offers internships throughout the company each year and values the insight, effort, and input of our interns. Here are Kami’s top 5 tips for a successful internship experience:
1. Accept all tasks — The assigned task may not directly relate to the internship that you accepted, but doing the “other job duties as assigned” can open doors.
Everyone likely has a job description that lists “other job duties as assigned,” in addition to their day-to-day responsibilities. If you get the opportunity to do something outside of your internship job description — take advantage of it! By allowing yourself to be available to help out your team, it demonstrates to your supervisor that you’re willing to do what it takes to reach the team’s goals. Selfishly, it can open a door of opportunity that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Explore as many opportunities as you can by accepting a variety of requests as your time allows.
2. Set SMART goals for yourself — Not only can the employer help you meet goals, but it also builds good habits for the future.
For those unfamiliar with the SMART goals acronym: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals are proven to make your ambitions a more attainable reality.
Your goals should be front and center throughout your career. You can still be a team player and keep your professional goals in mind. It’s important to set SMART goals for yourself, but also give your supervisor an idea of what you want to accomplish during your internship and what you want to do with your career.
3. Speak Up — Your internship is a learning opportunity!
No (good) supervisor will get frustrated with the curiosity of an intern. Your supervisors are there to help you figure out the fundamentals of the industry. If you find yourself in an internship and are confused with processes, outlooks, communications, etc., ask!
4. Take an internship that is “out of your box” — You may find that you enjoy a different direction or opportunity.
College is about discovering yourself. In the realm of an internship, discovering which work you enjoy is a major part of the experience. Your internship doesn’t need to be in the exact industry to which your major relates.
To grow as a professional, you must get comfortable being uncomfortable. A frequent interview prompt is, “tell us about a time you had to solve a problem.” To have good answers for that prompt, get outside of your comfort zone and lead projects where appropriate.
5. During an internship, keep track of the contacts you make — These contacts can be future employers or great references.
Supervisors want to see you succeed. They want to create a connection just as much as you do. If you’re successful in the same industry, or an adjacent industry, you both will have made a professional connection.
We love to hire interns as full-time Landus employees. They have experienced The Landus Way over the summer and know our expectations. It gives me great happiness to hire a student as an intern, promote them to full time, and watch them grow in their career.
Overall, internships should be growing and learning opportunities for you in your early career. Landus offers internships of our own throughout the year. While our 2023 internships are already set, this fall we’ll start recruiting for 2024. Check out our careers page to see our summer internship programs when they become available.