You’ve reached the halfway point of your summer internship and it has pretty much sucked. If you are thinking about quitting, I have a few tips to help salvage your summer before it is too late. Even if you do have the internship of your dreams, do these things to make the experience even better.
You feel like all you do are mundane and mindless tasks? Perhaps a simple shift in perspective will allow you to dig deeper and see how all of the pieces fit together. I’m not trying to say that getting coffee has a higher meaning, but some boring projects could teach you more than you think, if you take the right perspective.
Interns that I hired in my office often had the not so sexy task of doing data entry of student information. I always did my best to explain how the pipeline of recruitment worked and what happened to those names and contacts once they were entered into the database. In some circumstances, I was able to let them attend a recruitment event with me so they could see just how those names were gathered.
By putting everything into perspective, it gave the interns the opportunity to understand the entire recruitment cycle and how we developed a marketing strategy. There are projects that you might be working on that have a bigger impact than you think, not exciting but necessary.
Ask for more challenging work
If you continue to prove yourself by completing the simple tasks you are given, don’t be afraid to ask for more challenging work. Let your immediate supervisor know that you are capable of doing more and giving more to the department. Sometimes it is about letting them know that you are ready to take on additional duties. That initiative could go a long way into letting your supervisor know you are serious about learning and your contribution to the company.
Make moves to expand your network
As you complete your projects for your supervisor, ask if it is okay for you to assist other people in your department or other departments. By networking with others you can share your desire to learn more about the company and new skills. Along the way you could make a connection with a potential mentor. If no one has additional work for you, consider using your time to conduct informational interviews so you can learn more about other jobs in the company.
Part of being a stand out intern and eventually a promising young professional is the ability to bring fresh ideas. Take time and observe what is going on around you. Learn the processes. By learning, observing and asking questions, you can begin to think of simple improvements to your assignments. Perhaps there is a faster or more efficient way to do something. Bring it to your supervisor and it might be adapted as a new way to do business. Don’t be discouraged if your idea isn’t implemented, keep bringing new things forward.
The summer internship period is almost over. Finish strong. If you recently graduated and you are trying to turn your internship into a job offer, check out these 9 Moves That Could Take You From Intern to New Hire.