How to Make the Most Out of Your Summer Internship

Posted by The CHT Group on 20 June 2014

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For most people, summer is a time for vacations, barbecues, and trips to the beach. When you’re a college student or recent graduate, however, summer usually means finding an internship and getting a taste of the real world, which can be pretty intimidating. If you’ve ever seen an intern on TV or in a movie, you’re probably imagining things like getting everyone’s coffee and making copies all day long. Is that what being an intern is really like? Can it really be that bad? To give the truth about what goes on at an internship and offer up some friendly advice, we decided to let our newest intern, Nick Intelisano, explain the experience in his own words:

Leading up to my first day at The CHT Group, I was admittedly pretty nervous. I already had a good idea of what I was going to be doing, but there is something about the first day of work that is hard to get used to. Jitters aside, I understood this was a great opportunity and I was excited to get started. My expectations for the experience at CHT have definitely been surpassed. Unlike the perception that movies seem to always portray, not only am I not fetching anyone’s coffee (yet), but I have also truly felt like a member of the team.

This being my fourth internship, I have learned a lot tricks for getting the most out of the experience. Whether you hope to land a full-time position at the company or receive a great letter of recommendation, the goal should always be to make a positive impression on your employers.

Show up early

This goes for every day, not just the first day on the job. Consistently being one of the first ones into the office can leave a great impression on everyone around you. I’ve also noticed how productive an early start can be instead of trying to get extra work done by staying late when you’re likely getting exhausted and probably just want to go home. It’s time to face it fellow graduates; the days of spending summer days in bed until noon are probably behind us for good.

Ask questions

Asking questions is the easiest way to learn new things at an internship. People are almost always willing to help you as an intern, but they don’t always know when you need help. Nobody expects the intern to know everything, so take advantage of that. I have gained a number of valuable skills from simply admitting that I don’t know how to do something and asking for help.

Always be willing to help

One of the worst things you could do as an intern is tell someone that you are too busy to help them. Let’s be honest, most interns are probably never too busy to help. Not only does lending a helping hand get you on someone’s good side – always a plus – it is also a great way to learn new things. If you take anything from the advice I’ve offered, remember the importance of offering to help out others around the office.

These are just three of the many important things that will eventually help me and my fellow interns reach the ultimate goal of landing a full-time job.