Many undergraduates who are doing their internship today, take their job training too lightly. Based on my observations, a majority of today’s interns do not understand the importance of job training and how it helps to shape their future in the working world.
Based on my experience, many interns have a hard time digesting that their internship period is not a time-off from books and assignment. Internship is also about the perception that they build among professionals towards the institution they represent.
I remember my internship with one of our local terrestrial television stations. I remember that I worked an average of 10 hours a day, did graveyard shifts, paid peanuts (or almost free) to learn and grasp the experience that the station offered. From photocopying hundreds and hundreds of pages of all sorts of forms, becoming tea lady to producing my very own promo and putting it up on air within that three months of internship period was such a fulfilling and eye-opening experience for me. I can say that my internship had better prepared me to face the real world of TV broadcasting.
Now that I am in the position of consistently on the lookout for those trainees myself, I would say in the last 15 years, getting good interns is almost like looking for a needle in a haystack.
I am not trying to be self-righteous here by writing this article, but I am merely sharing some tips on what interns can do to make the most out of their internship and at the same time build their confidence in the real world of working. Take the job seriously
Interns need to remember that the world does not revolve around them (no matter how much they believe so) and that the work and contribution they give will have an impact on the organisation. So in order for the employer to take them seriously, the interns must take the job seriously, even if it is about buying that masala tea with less sugar for their respective manager. Be matured, punctual and don’t skive
Tardiness and truancy is a major turn-off for most organisations. So, when the company wants you to work 10 hours a day, you work 10 hours a day. Or more. And if you have to go off for emergency or family holidays, be professional about it and send a formal application. Don’t go around telling your manager to call your dad or mom for further explanation. Remember: It is work and not high school. Good time management equals to good interns
Interns have quite a list of things on their plate. So, manage your time properly. It is important to be organised and meet deadlines. If you feel like you have nothing much to do, always ask around for things that you can do - no one likes a person who sits around and does nothing. Communicate and socialise
Soft skills are important to score that internship. When you are almost at the end of your internship and you hardly know anybody in the office, like the woman who sits across to you at the same cubicle, then you should reflect your purpose of being. There are no silly questions, just silly answers
Ask away if you have the slightest concern or queries about the job. An intern must always be willing to step out of comfort zone and have genuine interest about the job. And be prepared when you are asked about the job. Do not give away silly answers.
All of the above are written based on my personal experience working with numerous interns. To me, the most important thing about completing your internship with flying colours is to have the right and positive attitude.
Once you have proven that you are able to project professionalism with humility, hard work and respect towards one and all, who knows, your internship might just land you the right job that you have always dream of.