For many students, an internship is their first look into the career world. This can be exciting, but also a little nerve wracking, especially if you’re trying to get your foot in the door at a certain company or are hoping to score a great reference for future job applications. Having an internship experience on your resume is positive, as it demonstrates to potential employers that you take initiative in your career. However, having a successful internship experience in which you learned new skills, beefed up your portfolio, made networking connections, and received helpful feedback from supervisors is even better. Here are some tips that can help you be a fantastic intern, while getting the most out of your internship.
First Day Tips:
Arrive early and dress appropriately. While first impressions may not be everything, they are definitely important. Arriving early and looking nice will show that you are prepared and professional.
Be friendly and introduce yourself. Smile and introduce yourself to everyone you meet. Know your position and department title, so that you can tell them your specific place in the company. Everyone you’re working with has the potential to be an important networking connection.
Ask questions and be an active learner. If you don’t know or understand things about the company or the workplace, ask. It’s better to get simple questions answered now, so you’re not asking about things you should already know later on. Be an active learner by doing some research on your own. Google information about the company and its work to better understand the environment you’ll be working in.
During the Internship:
Be proactive. Try to avoid sitting idly; you’re not helping the company or learning anything by doing that. Ask for more projects or create one for yourself (Just make sure it is worthwhile).
Listen carefully and take notes. You can really learn a lot from supervisors and coworkers. Take notes, especially during meetings. This way, you can reference them to avoid asking silly questions later. They can also be useful when you are in a job interview and need to provide examples of your prior work experiences.
Follow texting and social media policies. It can be tempting to tweet about your cool new internship or Instagram a picture of your very own desk, but if a supervisor was to see something posted during work hours, it will make it look like you are not doing your job.
Send thank you notes. Thanking your supervisors for their help and guidance during your internship experience will leave a good impression of you in their minds.
Request feedback. Getting feedback from supervisors and collaborators can be a great way to discover your strengths and weaknesses. Not only does this allow you a catalyst for personal improvement, but you also have a starting point for answering future job interview questions.
Get contact info. Ask your supervisor for their contact info. They can be a great resource while navigating future career searches. Make sure to also ask your supervisor if they are willing to be a reference for you in the future.
By Leah Peterson
There comes a point in all college students’ lives where we find ourselves looking for jobs or internships, which can be a daunting process. Where do you even begin to start looking for a job that’s somehow related to your major and that you might want to do in the future? Luckily, the University of Wisconsin provides its students with access to the site BuckyNet, an online database that specifically connects employers and UW-Madison students to internships and full-time employment opportunities, on-campus interviews, and additional resources. In my own experience as a job seeker, BuckyNet has been helpful in connecting me with positions I am genuinely interested in that relate to both my major and career goals.
All you have to do to get started with your job search on BuckyNet is register at http://careers.ls.wisc.edu/buckynet–students.htm and you will get your account information emailed to you. To begin searching for a job or internship, hover over the “Jobs” tab and click on “BuckyNet Jobs.” This will take you to a list of job postings on BuckyNet that you can browse. To search for only internships, use the “Advanced Search” option located on the right of the screen to select “All Job Listings” under “Show Me” and “Internship” under “Position Type.” You will notice other fields that can help narrow your search. A broader search will obviously give you more options to explore, but if you know key factors for a job or internship you want, like the location or amount of travel you’re willing to do, it’s really helpful to clarify those in your search options from the start.
When you decide to apply for a job or internship posting, the company will specify the application process. In some cases, you will submit your resume through BuckyNet. In other cases, you will be directed to the company’s website and asked to apply through their employment pages. If you have questions about your application status after the follow-up timeframe, feel free to email the main contact whose information appears in the right column of the job/internship posting.
Your account also has the option of favoriting jobs and internships you wish to apply to later. To favorite a job, simply click on the star next to the job title in the job posting list. This will add the job to your favorites list, which you can easily access under the “My Favorites” tab under the “Job Postings” section. Any favorited jobs or internships will be saved there.
Having access to BuckyNet is extremely beneficial to UW-Madison students because we know these employers are specifically looking for students with a certain skillset and education within the College of Letters & Science. Take advantage of this free service to get you one step closer to finding your future job or internship!