With Summer Intern Season 2013 in full swing, now’s a good time to evaluate how you landed yourself your current gig, and look into how to make the most of it.
In my attempts to find a great internship, I Googled “Entertainment Internships Los Angeles” and clicked the first links that came up. I applied for 20 internships over the next week or so, and I managed to snag one.
But I didn’t make the most of it… I didn’t know how.
Coming off a freshman year, I had little guidance on internships. As a result, I spent most of my days at the internships browsing the internet with the occasional research project. Additionally, while I had ample opportunity to ask questions, I was sectioned off in a different cubicle area from where my boss and her team worked.
Don’t get me wrong; I loved the people in the agency, but I didn’t feel like I was getting the most out of my internship experience. I didn’t do what I needed to be doing to make it awesome.
So, how do you avoid having a less-than-spectaclar experience? Here are 4 ways to make the most of “intern season” (and learn from my mistakes):
1. Focus on Activities Relating to Your Interest
Save yourself, and the employer, time by focusing on activities that not only line up with your area of study, but also your skills.
This way, you’ll stay motivated and engaged… and won’t get sucked into day-to-day activities that won’t help your career or personal growth.
2. Ask for a Typical Day-to-Day Schedule of the Intern
Asking for a typical day-to-day schedule will help to make sure you’ll be getting the most out of your time… and you’ll properly co-manage expectations and meet important milestones.
I would hate for you to end up being that girl who sits at a computer all day and does nothing while waiting for the occasional task. By asking what you’ll be doing next (next hour, next day, next week) you’ll be able to make a significant impact.
3. Make Yourself Busy!
Be busy! Make yourself busy! If there’s nothing for you to do, find something. This is where I went wrong: I asked around the office (good) but if they had nothing… I did nothing (big mistake).
I should have found myself something! Organizing a closet, looking up details for your boss’ next meeting, educating yourself on their upcoming projects… anything! Make yourself valuable and they won’t want you to leave.
4. Think Ahead to Next Season
As you may have already learned this summer, the best and most prestigious internships are usually gone by late January, if not before. Before next intern season, think ahead… and improve your chances of getting a high-impact internship.
Apply for one internship every day; hit a ton of different sites and apply to a lot of different places without it getting overwhelming. If you try to apply to too many at once, you’ll probably end up emailing one employer, calling another or attaching the wrong cover letter. Don’t do that.
Most impotant: If you feel like you have the qualifications and the internship would be good for you, APPLY! Don’t let the fear of other applicants being strong or the company name make you afraid to apply. Someone has to get the position, right? It might as well be you. Besides, if you don’t apply, you are guaranteed not to get it.
My mistakes don’t need to be yours. Use these tips to make the most of this intern season… and the next!
About the Author: Quinn is an emerging entertainment marketing professional. She has a love of all things Hollywood that stems from her upbringing in sunny Southern California. Currently studying Business Administration and Marketing at Boston University, she hopes to work in film marketing one day. In her free time, she enjoys playing softball, going dancing, and planning her next trip to Disneyland. Learn more about her at her personal website, or by following her on Twitter.