Roadmap for your Internship
Starting an internship can be intimidating and sort of like the first day of school. You are going to feel a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit nervous, definitely excited, and overall overwhelmed. After a couple of days, the intimidating new internship will start to feel more comfortable as you make friends and learn about the responsibilities of your position.
Always be your best. As an intern, we have to prove ourselves in the company. You need to prove to the company why hiring you after this internship is the best decision they’ll ever make! In order to always be my best, I like to create a mental checklist or a guideline for myself so I can always keep myself in check. You can make these guidelines on the move in the notes section of your phone, you can create a quick checklist on Google Docs on your computer, or write them down in the journal you always carry.
We generated 5 of the most important questions that can help guide you through the internship process. When you feel confused or less motivated, these questions can be your roadmap to a successful internship. These questions will help remind you of the importance of this experience, and why you must always be your best.
Remember your expectations can range and vary as you begin the internship and then as you finish. You can start off loving an industry, and at the end of the internship, you could have a different opinion. This is a good thing because you’re learning about your likes, dislikes, and passions! Reflecting on these questions will help answer if you should be working for this company, and or industry in the long run.
*** There are no wrong answers! This is a guide to better your experience ***
Pick 3 goals you wish to accomplish during this internship. (Get out of your comfort zone...Select 3 things that make you uncomfortable, and tackle them! It could be making new friends or speaking up during a meeting. Set your goals and complete them!)
How well do you fit into this organization? (Co-workers, office space, company culture, making friends, location, etc.)
Can you see yourself working here for 5+ years, and why? (The why is the important part. The more detail, the more it will help you when reflecting!)
What are your initial reactions after your first week? Which parts of the internship are everything you wish for? What areas are concerning / slightly disappointing?
After week 1, list the tasks or work you have been assigned. How is this workload? Can you do more? Is it too much and you feel overwhelmed? Speak up. No matter your situation, communication is the key to success. If you feel you can do more, say so and your employer will be impressed. If the workload is a lot, communicate to your employer it might take longer or you feel overwhelmed! (Remember you have to see a future at this company)
How many goals have you accomplished? (All of them? Make a new list of 3 we have more time!... None of them? Get working!)
Now that you have completed half of the internship, How well do you fit into this organization? What has changed?
Now that you have completed half of the internship, Can you see yourself working here for 5+ years? Make a pros and cons list!
What are your thoughts and reactions halfway through this internship? Are the things that made you happy still making you happy? What has continued to be disappointing and do you see it changing anytime soon?
List the tasks that have made the most impact thus far. Have you learned new skills or expanded your network? (If you haven’t had a task with major impact, communicate your potential is so much more and ask for more responsibility!)
Look at the goals you have accomplished. You got out of your comfort zone, and did things that made you feel uncomfortable! Did you accomplish more than you originally set as goals?
Now that you completed the internship, How well do you fit into this organization? Was it easy to make friends? Do you like the company culture? Did you blend into this organization or did you feel like an outsider every day at work? Why? What was creating that feeling? Identify both good and bad so you know what to look for during your next internship or job experience.
Now that you completed the internship, can you see yourself working here for 5+ years? (Create your new pros and cons list, but don’t look at the last one yet! Compare and contrast with your last list. This will help show what changed or stayed the same.)
What are your thoughts and reactions after completing this internship? Did everything that started as a positive finish as a positive? What was the most disappointing thing about the internship? Did you have the power to change that? (Mindset or physically asking)
Did this internship make me happy? Was this internship one of my passions? Do you feel inspired and passionate about working in this career field for many years? Find your work passion. When you feel inspired and passionate, you work exponentially better! Even if this internship was not your passion, you have learned and gained so much knowledge. Apply what you learned to find your next job or internship that will ultimately make you happy!