Once you have found an internship opportunity, it is important to consider how you will make the most of this opportunity. Below are some topics for you to consider before, during and after your internship.
There’s nothing more frustrating than spending 3 months doing something that you ultimately don’t find helpful or fulfilling, so take some time before you go to figure out the best way to approach your internship experience. Consider the following:
- UC 170 Positioning Yourself for a Successful Internshipis an LSA course that will provide both the skills to make yourself competitive for internships and the academic foundation for your success.
- The U-M Career Center offers Immersion Excursions. These are one day field trips to experience “ a day in the life” of professionals in a diverse set of industries.
- The Alumni Center at the University of Michigan offers 30 Minute Mentors . This is the opportunity for current UM students to meet with UM alumni and to ask questions and learn about a variety of career opportunities.
- Visit the U-M Career Center for helpful information about creating your resume, drafting a cover letter and developing your interviewing skills. Make an appointment with an advisor in the Career Center to discuss your internship search.
While you are at your internship, keep a few important tips in mind:
- Communicate Effectively - Be prepared to utilize the powerful communication skills you have been developing in LSA. Be ready to speak with your supervisor often about ways to utilize your existing skills and gain more skills that you would like to acquire.
- Set goals - Be sure to meet with your supervisor early on in your internship experience to discuss expectations your employer has for the position. Also, look for an opportunities to articulate what you hope to gain from the experience.
- Be Responsible - be punctual and take your job seriously. The more attentive and engaged you are in the work you are doing, the more you will learn. In some cases, internships are an opportunity for an employer to consider you as a candidate for a full-time position. Also the impression you make as an intern could be the basis of a recommendation you may want to send to future employers.
- Be Observant - Learn as much as you can about the industry and the organization by observing the people, the culture and how decisions are made. Be open-minded, talk with everyone and when it is appropriate, volunteer to contribute to projects.
Now that your internship has concluded and you are back on campus, take some time to think about your internship experiences, both the successes and the challenges, and how they have changed you, and your career and academic goals.
You have had a valuable opportunity to get an inside view of an industry and organization or company. Consider taking some additional steps to make the most of the internship you have completed as you prepare for the opportunities that lie ahead.
- Keep in Touch - You have likely met many people during your internship experience and it is important to maintain contact with this network. The people you worked with during your internship are familiar with you, your skills and your interests, and they can be a great source of advice, mentorship and even connect you with professional opportunities in the future.
- Develop your Presentation Materials - Gather documents, brochures, videos, or any products from your internship that help you demonstrate the work that you did and the skills you are building. Think about how you will highlight your experiences in a cover letter and resume. Everyone's experiences and goals are different and be sure to visit the UM Career Center to discuss how best to represent yourself in this important step.
- Talk About It - Talk with anyone who will listen about your internship. Describing your duties, telling stories and explaining your impressions to friends, family and peers will deepen your understanding and help you craft a powerful story that will be important when you are meeting with potential employers in the future.
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