Career Tips

10 ways to make the most of your internship

Internships are a valuable way to gain experience and help launch your career. We've rounded up top advice from members of our Early Careers Center of Excellence (EC CoE), on how to make the most of your internship. We hope this information and insight will help you stand out from the rest. 

1.    Pay careful attention

  • Ask thoughtful questions and soak up information, then seek out more information so you can ask thoughtful follow-up questions. 
  • Actively listen and take notes when receiving instructions. Show initiative by researching questions first, through company resources, and then ask your questions. 

2.   Have a positive attitude and show gratitude

  • Be enthusiastic - it's contagious! 
  • Be willing to take on any assigned task, no matter how small. You'll often find that excelling at the basics can lead to more responsibilities. 

3.    Expand your network     

  • This is your chance to build relationships with people at all levels. Get to know the other interns, as they will grow with you in your career. Get involved in on-site events and groups to get to know the people in your office. 
  • Think of it as "net-giving" as people want to hear your perspective as much as you want to learn something new from them. 

4.    Practice two-way mentoring

  • Find someone you look up to and want to emulate at your office. Get to know them and learn more about their career path and why they made the career choices they have. 
  • Pay it forward by volunteering to be a mentor to others when you are back on campus. 

5.    Be open to feedback

  • Every so often, ask your manager how you're performing. What are you doing well? What could you be doing differently? What could you do better? Are you meeting the goals of the organization? By asking these questions, you'll make it easy for them to give you input that will help you grow. 
  • Once you have received feedback, try to embed these new behaviors immediately so that your manager is able to see that you are open to feedback and willing to better yourself. 

6.    Quality over quantity

  • Make sure you review your work before you submit it to your manager. Don't rush to the next task to show how much you can do. Take your time to do your job well. Show that you pay attention to detail by following instructions and that you care about the quality of your work. Put in your best effort, even when you are handed tasks that may not excite you. 
  • It's best to remember the saying, "Take your work seriously, but don't take yourself seriously." 

7.    Stay focused

  • Don't use social network sites (unless it's a part of your job), converse with friends on G-chat, or text with friends throughout the day, unless there is an emergency. You may be confident that it doesn't affect your work, however, experienced managers may feel otherwise. This is especially important early on as your manager's opinion matters most. 
  • It's often useful to put your personal phone on "do not disturb" mode or keep it in your bag to ensure you are constantly putting your best foot forward. 

8.    Be professional

  • Remember that an internship is an extended interview. Don't take it for granted. Even if you work in a casual setting, you need to be cognizant of the impression that you are making. 
  • Being professional doesn't mean not being yourself - it just means that you need to be conscious that behaviors and habits are acceptable on campus, or in a social setting, are not necessarily appropriate in a multi-generational workforce. 

9.    Understand the office norms and company culture

  • Observe how others in the office act, and mirror that. For example., if colleagues modulate their voices when others are on the phone, then modulate yours. 
  • Figure out the office norms and follow them. These details may sound trivial, however, they'll help you build rapport and get along with your colleagues. 

10.    Stay connected

  • Continue the relationships you've built after the internship ends. The truth is that sometimes getting an interview or a job is about who you know and what your former managers have to say about you, so keep in touch via LinkedIn or email. 
  • It's easy to stay connected to Thomson Reuters even once you're back on campus by connecting with us on social media

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