I regularly interview and work with many high school students and college students preparing to begin their new internships with ReadyAI and other companies through JobUpper. The majority of our interns hope that they develop professionally and obtain a better understanding of themselves. These students and young professionals have their eyes on cultivating lasting connections and making the best impression they can at ReadyAI with their direct supervisors or me.
A long time ago, and after graduating from high school and college, I also had done internships. Today, I interact with many of our interns, while I give lots of advice to our new interns, here are three secret tips that are sure to add value to any internship.
#1 Understand the organization chart: In your internship, you will soon find out that everyone has a supervisor they are trying to please: there’s you, then your supervisor, then your manager’s manager, and their manager, and so on. Try to understand the chain of command, what is required of each position, and person, which will give you a distinct perspective on how to create effective work. Understanding what is expected of your direct supervisor will provide you with valuable information on how to add value to the end product or project expected of you.
#2 Develop an all-around understanding of the company: I often tell interns at ReadyAI that as new interns, it is really easy to get lost, keeping yourself apart and occupied with the tasks responsibilities given to you. But one of the most important things you should continuously do at your internship is to gain develop a better understanding of the bigger picture.
So if you are interested in marketing and have an internship in education, nonprofit, production, and media, but all within the realm of marketing and communications. Understanding how these businesses function: how they make revenue, who their main partners are, and what progress means for them will help you succeed as you advance your career as an intern in future companies. Try to answer these questions before your internship ends:
Who are the most significant clients? What are the main methods we generate revenue?
What is the process of our product/service from A to Z?
What are the different areas of the business? How do they work with one another?
How do other companies use their products/service to run their operations? How do they value them?
#3 Make the time to learn about different areas and functions: Although internships are intended to help you get more exposure and experience, they should also help you gain a better understanding of what you genuinely want to do in the future. Every day I observe interns that are not taking the time to step out of their comfort zone and talk to somebody outside their department. There are so many missed conversations that could have given them more knowledge on how they should tackle their future career. So if your role is in marketing, don’t be scared to talk to someone in UI/UX, operations, IT or other departments. You never know if it will spark an interest in you.
So to all students or I should say young professionals: Congrats, you got the internship with ReadyAI or elsewhere – now go out there and LEVEL UP.
Ask questions, talk to as many people as you can, listen, take good notes, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes because that’s how you learn and have fun.