How to Make the Most Out of Your Internship
This is an update of the original article published on May 3, 2016.
If you have landed a summer internship congratulations! Juggling schoolwork and a job search is a challenge. As you wrap up the year and head out to work we want to make sure you’re prepared to hit the ground running at your new employer! This article provides a short list of things to consider doing this summer as you make the most out of your internship.
Since some of our readers are still looking for the right internship it’s important to mention that while internships are not a required component of your Babson experience, they can provide a great opportunity for you to develop your skill set, make impact, and build your network. But an internship is not for everyone and there are alternative ways to do these things – just ask CCD for advise! No matter your plans these tips will come in handy at some point in your career so please read on.
According to the 2022 GMAC Corporate Recruiter Survey communication is still a highly sought after skill by employers. The internship experience is an excellent way to develop your communication skills. Strong communication skills can help you build relationships, collaborate on teams, ask questions to understand business challenges, and then propose solutions based on what you know. As Babson Graduate students you can seek the help of our Speech Center faculty who will work with you on communication skills training.
In conjunction with your manager, make sure that you outline goals for yourself at the start of your assignment. This will enable both your manager and you to measure your progress towards these goals at the end of the assignment. It is recommended that you try to schedule a weekly meeting with your manager.
Set up a performance evaluation discussion at the middle of and the end of your assignment to solicit feedback from your manager on your areas of strength as well as developmental opportunities. If appropriate, you may decide to ask for more regular feedback throughout the internship as well. This process will help facilitate your learning experience and regular communication may allow you to add even more value to the organization by demonstrating your strengths and developing your skills in real-time.
Build Your Network
Take advantage of formal and informal networking opportunities. If appropriate, ask to attend meetings, and make a point to introduce yourself to various employees throughout the organization both formally and informally. Networking will allow you to learn about the organization from various perspectives and will therefore enhance your ability to contribute in a more strategic capacity. You should be able to do these things in either a remote (virtual) or in person environment.
Convert Internship to Full-Time
An internship is an opportunity work hard and prove yourself as a strong contributor. Be proactive and volunteer to take on assignments out of your scope. This can add more value to your internship and may even land you a full-time role!
Think about your internship as an opportunity to evaluate a potential fit for future employment. Ask yourself some of these questions: Do you like the company culture? Do you enjoy the work you are doing? Are you able to add value to this organization? Is there room for career growth here?
Think about ways to make a stronger connection between your internship employer and Babson. If you are working in a company where there are several Babson alumni, and it seems appropriate, reach out to some of the alumni and make the connection. If you are one of the only Babson students to be working at the company, do your best to make Babson proud so the company will recruit from us continuously and you can help develop a Babson College talent pipeline in the organization. Think about other ways that Babson could engage with your employer and vice versa; would someone from your company benefit from attending an on campus event? Would your company be interested in participating in an experiential program? Would someone from your company be interested in presenting on a panel or roundtable discussion to help educate current students?
Update your Branding Materials
Think about the contributions you’re making to the organization and how you can include them on your resume and LinkedIn profile at the conclusion of your internship. This is something that CCD is glad to help you with and you have tools like VMOCK to assist you in updating your materials. Do a first pass through VMOCK and then share with CCD for further insights if appropriate.
Our office is open throughout the summer and we look forward to hearing from you about your experience. If there’s any help you need along the way, do not hesitate to reach out to your CCD advisor. Good luck and you got this!