How to Maximize Your Internship
Now that my internship at NatureBox is coming to an end, I have been able to reflect on the many lessons I had the opportunity to learn over the Summer. Three lessons, in particular, stood out to me immediately. With these three, I was able to create immense value, maximize my time at my internship, and create an advantage that will be useful in all my professional endeavors.
1. Be EVERYWHERE
Go to everything, and I mean everything. Ask your manager if you can attend as many meetings and calls as possible to take notes and learn about day-to-day difficulties. Attend all the events during and after work to get to know all the employees and find out how they got to where they are today. Volunteer your help to others even if they are not on your team.
Your schedule every day should be more jam-packed than any other interns. By the end of your internship, you should be that one person everyone can always expect at all activities.
2. Less Talk, More Action
By attending all meetings and events, you will inevitably find some weak points with potential for improvement. Observing allowed me to see the big picture and I had the time to focus my energy on searching for the best solution. The inefficiencies I fixed cut costs and increase revenue to affect the bottom line directly. This shows your manager concretely that you are an excellent resource and are creating impactful value.
However, don’t just mention the problem in passing to your manager. You will end up just adding another line item to your manager’s long lists of time sensitive tasks. Instead, make a plan and do some research. The inefficiencies are there to start with because no one has had the time to ideate and deal with it. Be proactive and write out a clear step by step proposal of how you are going to improve the situation. That way, your manager has nothing to lose by agreeing to your plan and does not have to factor in his own time. In fact, your manager will likely be very impressed that you had the assertiveness to take the lead and will respect you for that.
3. Efficiency is Key
There is always a quicker, more productive method of project completion. The instructions you received for the project may not necessarily be the most time maximizing plan and is just the way they have always done it. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the tasks and software needed, and write out the steps that are an absolute necessity to completing the job.
From there, think outside the box, ask around, and search online to find the most efficient path to completion. I saved at least 30 hours by using shortcuts I developed in Excel and CRM software and will continue to save a countless number of hours in the future.
Although all of these seem straightforward and easy to implement, most interns do not put into action any of these three points. As a Summer intern, your time is especially limited to only three months, therefore, every workday must be maximized. Wait no longer; these three components are what separate just a summer intern from a superstar with a return offer. Take action and be a superstar today!