This post is a highly requested sequel to Most Common Mistakes By An Intern. Internships allow you to “try-on” a certain position or industry. Forming connections early with a company and gaining real work experience is the benefit to having an internship. 60% agree that students need to begin to focus on their careers in high school to compete for future jobs, and 90% agree that high school internship programs can help students get into better colleges. With such a high percentage of people agreeing internships are crucial for a student, here are some common mistakes to avoid when trying to get the most out of your internship experience.
- Saying “yes” to the wrong internship
When you get any internship offer, there’s a great chance you’ll be overjoyed and elated. It’s always an amazing feeling when a company believes in your ability to handle that position. However, during your research of the company make sure the job description, company culture and other commitments align with your needs. The best internship opportunities should further your career, so making the choice should be strategic and leave you feeling confident.
- Working in a bubble
In a work environment, a majority of projects require a team effort. Failing to see how your work can affect others or ignoring projects that don’t necessarily relate to you position can be career killing. Being a team player is critical to a company. Make sure to stay as involved as you can and be there to help out whenever necessary.
- Being seen and not heard
Yes, you’re the intern and sometimes you may feel as if your input isn’t valuable, but it is! The company hired you to make some impact in your role. Perhaps this position may not turn into a full-time job afterwards, but your feedback could revolutionize an inefficient process the company has done for years. Make sure to speak up and ask questions when you feel appropriate.
- Quality over quantity
Unfortunately, there’s no “A” for effort in the real world. Companies and managers prefer quality in the work to quantity. For instance, need to run some reports about the year-end financial report? Managers would rather you spend an extra day polishing and double checking your work than getting it done quickly to move onto another project.
- Sitting back and waiting
It is wise to be proactive throughout your internship. Being proactive, asking questions and taking on new projects assures you that you’ll get the most out of this experience. This also shows the company your willingness to put in extra work.