With the arrival of Spring and warmer temperatures this week, many students’ thoughts are starting to turn toward the summer. A number have been asking, “What should I be thinking about for my summer job?” Some of you may have secured your dream internship, others are pursuing roles outside of their full-time target industries, and some are still looking for the right fit.
Wherever you are in the process, here are a few thoughts for getting the most out of your summer experience:
- Ask questions. Lots of questions. Don’t be afraid of looking like you don’t know all the answers – chances are, you don’t. Regardless of the program, company, or role you take on, it’s highly unlikely that you know everything about it. Asking questions can serve two main purposes – it will 1) show your manager, team, or colleagues that you’re engaged, interested, and thinking about the work, and 2) in turn, give you the opportunity to learn as much as you can about the industry, organization, clients, etc.
- Put your best effort into everything, even the small tasks. Chances are, you won’t be speaking directly with clients and closing multi-million deals as an intern. There are, however, things that you can do to make your team’s life easier and help build their trust in you. If your colleagues can’t trust you to get something that might seem trivial and irrelevant – for example, data entry, formatting, or a lunch order – correct, it will be difficult for them to trust you with higher-stakes tasks.
- Remember that this is an opportunity to build valuable skills, knowledge, and relationships for the future. What if your summer internship isn’t all you thought it would be? Or if you are doing something completely unrelated to your target industry? You can use it to gain skills and knowledge that are transferable later on. Whatever job offer you end up taking, remember that someone is giving you an opportunity. Keep a positive attitude, do your job well, and make an effort meet people throughout the organization. You never know where this summer may lead, but it certainly will be one of the first steps on your longer-term career path.
If you have any questions at all, you can always stop by our office to speak with an advisor. Have a great weekend!