How to Get the Most Out of Your Summer Internship

By Kay Broughton, SUNY BLOG

June 2, 2016

Summer Intern So you’ve landed your summer internship. Your opportunity to test your knowledge and skills in the job market and show how you can make an impact in today’s economy is here. Maybe you followed our Tips to Land Your Dream Internship or maybe you used the Internshop to find a great opportunity in your field. Either way, now that you’ve nailed the interview you are left with one big question. What do I do now? Well, it’s time to make the most your internship. Sure, it looks good on a resume, but what’s important is not just the name: it’s the experience and skills you gain.

How do you make sure you are utilizing every facet of your internship to learn, grow, and prepare yourself for the future? Follow these 3 simple steps:

Get Credit for Your Work

Many internships will allow you to earn academic credit for the work that you do. And although some make you choose between credit or pay many will allow you to do both. So it is worth it to look into your credit options. This opportunity could be a way for you to get ahead of your curriculum credentials to ensure you graduate on time while learning something new. Often, as is the case at SUNY Fredonia, all you’ll need is a bit of paperwork and a faculty sponsor to ensure you get the credentials you need.

As well as academic credit, put yourself in a position to complete some tasks that you can take record of after your internship is complete. Maybe you write a report, generate some new content staff, or get involved with public discourse. Many of these types of tasks can be saved for inclusion on your resume in the future.

Develop Professional Contacts

According to Career Services at SUNY ESF, meeting professional contacts is one of the most important reasons to pursue an internship. Networking with professionals in your field can set you up with more opportunities than you realize. Anyone you meet at your internship could change your life. So introduce yourselves to co-workers you work directly and indirectly with. Don’t be afraid to step outside your boundaries to display your best characteristics and make yours a name that won’t soon be forgotten.

Learn Outside the Lines

According to Robert E. Moritz, US Chairman and Senior Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, there is no better advice than, “Make every opportunity a learning opportunity.” Ultimately the benefit of an internship is all the professional skills you can hone. An internship lets you finally take the things you’ve learned in the classroom and apply them to real world situations. But they also let you expand your learning environment. You can learn from other professionals in your office and understand what jobs in your field of study are really like!

No job is ever the same day to day. Take time to find out what makes things different and how engaging those opportunities may be to you. There is no better time to figure these things out.

Ultimately, an internship is an amazing opportunity. You can learn new skills and figure out what kind of job you’ll really want after college. And now with tools like Internshop, finding that perfect opportunity is easier than ever. I know this internship had an enormous impact on my life. You never know what directions life will take you, but with the experiences and things learned during a summer internship, you may be able to start building your map.

This article was originally published on SUNY BLOG.

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Did You Know

Registration for the 2016 Statewide College Open House on June 28 is now open!

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Article Contributors

Danielle Boardman

Kay Broughton

Suzanne Lazar

Jeffrey Walton

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