Home General 7 Tips for Internship Success – and 3 Mistakes to Avoid

7 Tips for Internship Success – and 3 Mistakes to Avoid

by AIFS Abroad
Two young professional men interning or working at an office

Internships can be both exciting and challenging. By developing the right habits and attitudes from day one, you can ensure that your time as an intern is both meaningful and rewarding. Get ready to make your mark – we’ve compiled some of the best advice on how to succeed as an intern.  

Here are some tips for turning your internship into a success story: 

1. Meet everyone 

Smile and make an effort to introduce yourself to everyone you meet during your internship. Be present in meetings. Try asking your coworkers questions to better get to know them and the company. 

2. Observe the workplace environment 

Always follow the protocol for what to wear and how to act. Look around the office and try to blend in with their style and presence. You don’t want to stand apart for inappropriate dress, for talking too loudly or chatting too much, or for anything that might be considered culturally – or professionally – inappropriate. 

3. Understand deadlines and communicate 

In the workplace, being upfront about deadlines and prioritizing is essential. When you’re given tasks, ask questions like: 

  • “When would you like this finished?”  
  • “I’m working on X right now, what should I prioritize?”  

4. Take notes 

Bring a laptop or notebook and pen to every meeting. When you’re in the meeting, be sure to pay attention. You never know what you may need to recall in the future, so take good notes! 

5. Ask questions 

Questions are good. They help clarify what you should focus on. You might have a ton of questions, and that’s ok. An internship is a learning experience, and your supervisor will expect you to have questions. Consider when and how to ask your questions. Make sure your manager is ready to answer your questions by asking them in a professional and appropriate manner.  

6. Network 

Internships are a great opportunity to get to know your manager and other employees at the company. Try reaching out to people by asking them to have lunch or coffee. After all, this is your chance to get your foot in the door and learn about your approved career field. 

7. Breathe 

Those first few days can be slightly overwhelming. You may feel stressed, but don’t get discouraged. You’re new and you’re there to learn. You might make mistakes, but that’s expected. Eventually, your internship will start to feel like a place where you’ve always belonged. 

A few tips on what not to do if you want to ensure your internship is a success:

Leaving a good impression on your host company can lead to a lot of great opportunities. LinkedIn endorsements, high-quality reference letters, and job opportunities can all come from building your network. If you want to come across as professional, avoid these three common mistakes: 

1. Don’t gossip 

If there’s gossip around you, remove yourself from the conversation. It’s important to remain professional. Make sure whatever you do you don’t spread gossip.  

2. Don’t complain on social media 

Make sure you know what you can share on social media. It’s best to review the company’s social media policy or ask your supervisor what you can and can’t talk about outside of your internship.  

You’ll also want to be mindful of what and when you post. It’s not a good look if you’re complaining about how bored you are or posting on your personal accounts when you’re supposed to be working.  

3. Don’t be late 

As an intern, you should be at work on time every day. It doesn’t matter what time your coworkers or supervisor shows up. In all likelihood, they have earned the right to show up a bit late. Unless your supervisor tells you otherwise, you need to be at work every day on time.  

Follow these tips for internship success and you’re on your way.

Your hard work during your internship can pay off big time. Your managers and colleagues are more likely to stay in touch, and you may even be considered for open positions in the future. At the very least, you’ll leave your internship with practical experience and a positive recommendation. 

With AIFS Abroad, you can intern in fabulous cities all around the world. International internships are available in nearly every career field. It’s time to start dreaming about where you – and your career – can go!  

Infographic: Tips for Internship Success
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