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How to: Make the Best Out of Your Internship

As a recent Loyola Grad, I joined Walker Sands as their Web/SEO intern this summer. Having worked 3 internships in the past, I had an idea coming in of what the process of being an intern would consist of. Although every internship is different, going into one with a basic set of guidelines always helps. Here is my guide to getting the most out of an internship.

Ask the right questions – When you first start out as an intern, you may feel like you are asking too many questions. The fear of the unknown will drive most of them, as well as the worry you will do something wrong. My advice is to ask questions whenever you are not 100% sure of something. Your boss will appreciate you double checking instead of going through the entire project without asking, and you will be much more confident when working on a task.

Learn from your co-workers – The best educators for your field are sitting all around you. Learning from your co-workers is critical to excel at your internship. Just by listening to the way they do business, you could learn the tricks of the trade in no time.

Study your craft – No matter what field you decide to go into, you can find hundreds of blogs and websites that are devoted to learning more about it. My favorite go-to sites for social media and web tips, advice, and links are Mashable and Copyblogger. Just by doing a basic Google search, you can find out what some of the best in your industry are saying about the field.

Take your time – You may feel like once you receive a task, you will need to finish it in an hour. Look at it this way: would you rather rush through a project and have to re-do it or take your time and turn in something quality? Unless you have a set deadline, take your time when working on projects. You will learn more and you will be able to submit your best work this way.

Give and ask for feedback – If you aren’t comfortable with what you are doing, let someone know. Internships are designed so that you receive a first-hand look at the field you want to go into. If you aren’t sure about something, just ask! Giving feedback to your boss will help them to provide the best platform for teaching you about your craft. Also, ask for feedback from your boss as well. What do they think you need to work on? What are some skills they would recommend you learning? These are great questions to get answered while you are in the midst of your internship.

And lastly, internships are learning experiences – Make sure you put your best work out there to ensure you are prepared for the real world. You get what you give, so make sure you give it your all!