You don’t have to spend your internship at the copy machine praying for the day to end. Jump in with both feet to make it more than just a line on your resume.
Step 1: Take an interest Take an interest in the company you will be working for. Prior to the start of your internship, read up on their history, their work, and their goals.
Step 2: Set goals Set goals for what you’d like to accomplish or learn during your internship. This will give you something to strive for while you are there.
TIP: Make sure your internship supervisor is aware of any academic requirements or standards that you must meet during the course of your work.
Step 3: Arrive early Arrive early, and if they need the help, stay late. Treat your internship like a real job, even if you are not being paid for the work you do.
Step 4: Relish the mundane Relish mundane tasks like photocopying or filing as though they were much more interesting than they actually are. This will help you do a better, faster job so you can move on to bigger things.
Step 5: Show willingness Show willingness to learn new skills and initiative to take on projects beyond the mundane. Don’t wait for someone to hand you something interesting -- ask for it.
Step 6: Acquire take-aways Acquire tangible take-aways, such as completed projects that you can use for your portfolio and the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of co-workers or supervisors who can give you references in the future.
Step 7: Get credit Get college credit or apply the internship toward your degree requirements if these options are available.
FACT: Many famous people, including Brooke Shields, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates, and Frank Lloyd Wright, completed internships before rising to stardom.