7 Rules to Follow for a Successful Internship

By Alicia Geigel on August 17, 2023

Internships are such an important part of the college experience, as these work opportunities not only help you gain more experience, develop specific skills, and network with others in your field, but they also can open the door to other work opportunities after you graduate.

Ensuring that you have a successful internship doesn’t require a lot of overthinking or overworking. Here are seven rules to follow to help you make the most of your internship!

woman, job, office, work, intern, coworkers

Image via Pexels

1. Learn About the Company: To stand out to your boss and coworkers, research as much as you can about the company before you start your internship. Conducting research doesn’t have to be difficult, and can be accomplished by a simple Google search. Find the company website and note down all the important information that you can draw from it, such as the company mission statement, its intended target audience, its history, employee reviews, etc. When you research the ins and outs like this, it makes all the difference, as it shows your employer that you are serious about the position you have and the people/company you work for.

2. Meet and Network With Your Coworkers: In any workplace, having a solid network of connections is not only a meaningful way to make your internship more positive and pleasant, but it is also a means to help you find new work opportunities and potential promotions in the future. Professional social media pages, like Linkedin, are a great place to start, as you can connect with people you work with, or people that have similar backgrounds, interests, job positions, etc. as you. Whether it’s your coworkers or people you network with online, these mutual connections can point you in the direction of new contacts, job opportunities, etc. Plus, the bigger your network is, the more people you’ll have in your corner to vouch for you when it comes time for references!

3. Have a Goal in Mind: Arguably the most important element when interning with a company is figuring out exactly what you want to accomplish as you go through the process. You may want to network with people in that field, develop interpersonal skills, master a technical skill, or simply get college credits. Regardless of what goals you have, an important part of the process is reflecting and searching within yourself to really find what motivates and inspires you in your internship, and go after what fulfills those goals in a meaningful way. Additionally, this part of the process will give you a clear idea of how to ask for what you want in the future.

4. Ask Questions: Part of what can make your internship a success or a failure is your ability to ask questions. It may sound like an odd tip, but your ability to be vulnerable with your boss and ask questions about anything you may misunderstand, be confused about, or simply want to learn more about, can ultimately help you grow as a person and an employee. Your boss will definitely appreciate the effort you put forth by asking questions, and see that you are constantly trying to learn. This will be another skill or trait that will look better on your resume!

5. Manage Your Time Well: Time management is something that can be utilized in just about every aspect of life, whether it’s at your job, in school, or in your personal life. With an internship, it’s important to manage your time well while you’re on and off the job. Make a schedule that combines elements of school and your internship, and fill it with dude dates for school projects, study time, and extracurriculars, as well as your job hours, deadlines for work projects, office meeting dates, and more. When you manage your time well, it shows your boss and coworkers that you can balance multiple things at once, and are a well-rounded employee.

6. Always Be Professional: In any setting and under any circumstance, professionalism is of the utmost importance. Whether your boss is giving you a lecture or extra work that you don’t want, always conduct yourself in a manner that is mature, calm, professional, and reasonable. Sticking through the good and bad parts of your internship will give you wisdom and brownie points for a future job.

7. Seek Feedback: Your manager, supervisor, etc. is your first point of contact and resource for everything involving your internship position. If you want to know what it will take to get from your current position to the one you want after your internship is finished, your supervisors are the best people to ask, as they can give feedback to help you improve in areas of weakness and build the skills that are necessary to advance. Kindly ask for feedback from your boss by presenting them with any and all accomplishments, experience, responsibilities, awards, etc. that you’ve obtained on the job. This will paint you in the most honest picture and give them an opportunity to give you a truthful perspective regarding your chances of getting your future dream job.

The pressure to have a successful internship is real, but if you follow these steps, you will undoubtedly make new connections, gain new experience, and secure your dream job in the future.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Back to Top

Log In

Contact Us

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format