A summer internship is an opportunity to test drive a career without making any serious commitments. It's your chance to see what it would really be like to work in a particular industry, and whether you're a great fit.
And, perhaps most importantly, a good internship provides you with experiences, lessons, and tools you'll need to get a full-time gig in the future.
Here are a few examples of things you can take away from an internship that may help you land a job down the road:
1. New/improved skillsOne of the most important things you can take away from an internship is your new found knowledge, which includes knowing how to fulfill tasks relevant to your desired career path. Not only that, but you should have also spent time sharpening and honing the skills you already possessed.
" Having a sense of the skills and experiences you want to gain from an internship at the start allows you to be intentional in working towards your goals."
2. A more complete (and impressive) resume
It's pretty obvious, but one of the best things about completing an internship is being able to add it to your resume.
Don't just include the job title, company name, and all the the responsibilities you had - also highlight your contributions to the company and how you added value.
That's what hiring managers in the future will care about most. They don't really pay attention to the fancy company name or the fact that you "completed 10 big projects." They want to know howyou managed to get those assignments done, the impact your work had on the company, any problems you solved, and your impact on the bottom line.
If you did a superb job and made a favorable impression on your manager and colleagues, you'll have no trouble coming up with references for future jobs you apply to. Just be sure to politely ask your boss or any coworkers who you made a great impression on if they'd be willing to recommend you for a job down the road. And then once that time comes, reach out to them again to get their permission.You wouldn't want to assume they're still willing to be your reference. Plus, it's beneficial to everyone to give your former manager or colleague a heads up that a new potential employer will be calling, as to give them time to think about all the great things they want to say about you.
Also: Make an effort to maintain a relationship with each of these people. Don't just use them as references. Make them part of your network, and even consider asking one to be your mentor.