An internship might sound like a total failure when you are job hunting, while in fact it is just another job hunting strategy. If you can make an unpaid internship work for you financially, even a short one, you should consider this valuable tool, especially if you are lacking experience in your chosen field. Here are some things to consider in your internship strategy.
Take the job seriously.
This is like an extended job interview. You would not show up late or ill-prepared for your interview, so don’t do that in your internship. The lack of monetary compensation does not mean what you do is unimportant. You have a job to perform and you are responsible for fulfilling your commitment to that. Remember, your performance can translate into a job offer, or at least a fantastic reference.
Do your assigned job—and more
Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. Granted, if you spend most of your time making coffee and fetching lunch, demonstrating your skillset can be a challenge. But don’t give up, and look for opportunities to show your stuff. Take the initiative and volunteer for projects you find interesting, or you have a talent for. Just because you are filing papers most of the day, this doesn’t mean you can’t step up and grab those opportunities to shine.
You won’t get a six figure salary and a corner office after a month of internship. You have to demonstrate your value to the company and be patient. You can earn a lot of respect with patience and staying the course. Showcase your talent whenever you can and maintain your enthusiasm for your assigned job. People will make note of your professionalism.
What a great networking opportunity
You will have access to people who do the jobs you want to do, on a daily basis, in their work environment. This is a networking dream come true! Most people enjoy talking about themselves and their accomplishments so don’t be afraid to ask relevant questions when the opportunity comes up. Ask about how they got started in the business, or what advice they could offer you to set you in the right direction. You may even find someone who would like to mentor you. And don’t underestimate the value of people such as other interns you might meet. These people could easily be in positions to be helpful in the near future. Take the time to get to know people and you will have a great network built with minimum effort.
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By: Becky Papp