Postgraduate internship guide

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Photo Credit: Melissa Henrie

Graduation, the moment you’ve been dreaming of from the beginning of college, has arrived. The job you’ve dreamt of is within reach, but you have to master your internship first.

It’s a common misconception that internships are just for undergraduate students while exploring their career field. It’s very common for postgraduates to enter competitive and demanding internships following graduation.

These internships are more high risk and have more on the line. Being graduated, it’s all about finding the job. You have to set yourself apart from your fellow interns so that when a job opens up, you’re the person who receives the offer.

The first rule of interning etiquette is no employer likes the bully of the group. If you are just looking out for yourself and are not a team player, you’re not a desirable candidate for a job offer, plain and simple.

An easy way to set yourself apart is to always be reliable for your punctuality and be early on all occasions when possible. It is amazing how many interns do not take this as seriously as they should.

Often times during an internship, there will be many tasks, rules, expectations etc. handed out at one time and quickly. Always have a notebook and pen handy. They will notice that you are always prepared and eagerly awaiting instruction.

Though you are qualified enough in the field you are pursuing to have received your position, don’t flatter yourself too much. Unless asked, your opinion doesn’t matter. You are not the expert yet and employers don’t appreciate interns interjecting their irrelevant thoughts.

Be extremely careful and wise with the questions that you choose to ask. If you’re supervisor can achieve the task you are assigned in the amount of time it took to ask your questions, it will be noticed.

A main reason companies hire interns is to complete tasks they do not have time to do. Regardless of the assignment given, always go about it with enthusiasm and positivity. Your attitude goes a long way. As you are completing the grunt work, do it with a smile.

There’s a likely chance that you’ll be constantly e-mailing companies, reps, your employer and others. Make sure you have your e-mail etiquette to a T and remain professional in your words and dress. Don’t ever get too comfortable in your position and always put forth effort and look for places to improve and exceed expectations.

Interning is an opportunity to showcase your skills, enhance knowledge, network and build relationships. If proper tactics, such as professionalism and hard work, are exerted, there are unlimited possibilities for you.