How to Make the Most of Your Summer Internship

By: David Ross

As you prepare for your upcoming summer internship, remember that navigating your experience in a positive way will be an important part of your success this summer. Here are some tips that may help you succeed at your internship:

Understand expectations. Whether you are given specific expectations at the beginning of your internship or not, it is important to make sure you understand what is expected of your performance so that you can do your best to meet or exceed expectations.

Be professional. While an internship is a great learning opportunity, professionalism is key. Be sure to conduct yourself in a professional manner during your internship. Perceptions and impressions can be very important so be careful not to jeopardize your candidacy with unprofessional behavior.

Take initiative. Completing your tasks and assignments as delegated should be the minimum. Think of ways you can take initiative and go above and beyond what is required and expected of you.

Maintain a positive attitude. Although you may encounter challenges and adversity that can be stressful at times, maintain a positive attitude during your internship. You want to be viewed as someone that fits well within the company and has a “can-do” attitude for assignments.

Document and track your achievements and accomplishments. Regardless if you have a formal review at the end of your internship or not, it’s vital to keep a running tab of your accomplishments and achievements to showcase your contributions. This can be very helpful when you update your resume and reflect on everything you worked on over the summer. The more details you can provide (especially quantifying outcomes and your impact on the organization) the better.

Author: David

David Ross is a Senior Associate Director of Career Services for Wharton undergraduates and occasional blogger for "Penn & Beyond."