If I had my time again, I know I would do things differently from the start. I want to share this knowledge so that newcomers in the future can benefit more from their internship. Sometimes it’s just good to know what’s possible and I hope that I can inspire you.
1. Be prepared
Before going to meetings and asking questions, think about what you should know before you even walk into the room. Do your homework. Still have questions at the end of the meeting? Write them down and follow them up.
2. Build trust
It’s important to have trustful working relationships, so work on gaining this trust right from the start. It could result in greater support from your management when it comes to your personal development, or simply lead to a good character reference.
If you perform well in your daily tasks and projects, you gain trust and thus you can think bigger.
Your colleagues will appreciate this and start to assign more responsibility to you, essentially broadening your professional experience. With that in mind, if you’re working on something, be sure to check that it’s 100% right.
Be confident. Look out for people with interesting job titles on the intranet and send out a meeting request or ask someone to introduce you to them. Be open and ask them as many questions as possible. Remember, people like to talk about their projects and achievements.
This will allow you to build a network within the company which will help you later on.
4. Be proactive
Managers don’t want to have to hold their interns’ hand throughout the duration of their stay. Don’t expect everything to be spoon-fed.
Search for processes which can be optimized and for ideas on projects which you can pursue during your stay. Communicate what you think and be prepared to support your point with a structured response and data which underpins your findings.
Don’t be afraid to show your boss how smart you can be. Remember that your view may be fresher than that of an employee. Use that to think out of the box. Think big.
5. Take responsibility
In my opinion, this last tip is the most important to really achieve something during your internship. Whenever it’s possible to take on a responsible task, do it. Be confident and show it to the people around you. Essentially take ownership of your projects.
If someone gives you the chance to work on something great, put your time and effort into it. Don’t just say that you will do it, but let actions speak. This will help you to make a name for yourself and leave your footprint in the company.
If you enjoyed the read and want to know more about my time in Amsterdam, I would be happy if you take a look at my blog.
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HR Intern - Retail Benelux
Amsterdam | Netherlands | Human Resources