In our last blog, we shared the difference between working for yourself or at a company. Now, it may not be your thing to start out of the gate working for yourself. In fact, statistically speaking, most people wait until at least their late 20’s. So what should you do if you are not ready to make the leap?
If you are thinking, “I haven’t even started at a company yet, how can I possibly know if I should go out and become my own boss?” It’s okay. There is no rush to jump ahead. There is, however, one thing that will prepare you to be able to make the entrepreneur decision: an internship.
Landing a highly coveted internships can be more difficult than landing a job, depending on the company. The movie The Internship is a reminder of how competitive lucrative internships can be at companies like Google. The reason? It isn’t only experience, it is access to people and the possibility of either landing a job at the company where you intern or getting an even better opportunity when you are able to add the experience to your resume.
Take These 13 Steps To Increase Your Internship Results:
- Choose Wisely: Don’t rush to accept the first internship offer simply because you need something to put on your resume.
- Evaluate: Ask how many interns the company has hired. If the number is low, it may be an indicator that this isn’t going to lead to a full time position.
- Entrepreneur Test Run: If you are thinking about creating your own company, intern at a startup first. This will give you invaluable insights into the highs and lows of launching a new company.
- Work in multiple departments: Even if your degree is in marketing, you should leverage the experience and look for other areas to gain experience within the organization.
- Get noticed: If you treat the internship as a job and show up promptly, dress professionally and are present at all times during meetings, you will be noticed within the organization.
- Show initiative: Regardless of your background, don’t feel like you should offer your help only if you know 100% of what the task is requiring. The purpose of an internship is to help you grow. Raise your hand before you are ready and take advantage of the learning opportunity.
- Promote yourself: Reach out to HR and your direct manager for the position and offer a summary on the accomplishments you have achieved.
- Make connections: One of the most valuable things that happen when you are inside a company is the ability to have access to leaders within the organization. Ask if you can join an affinity program (group that has special interests like a women’s group) and start conversations.
- Socialize: Invite co-workers and managers to coffee and be prepared to be both cordial but also ask questions that might help you move forward like: “What were the first things you learned in your position? “ or “What made you decide you wanted to be a _____ at the company?”
- Follow up: When your internship ends, stay in contact with key individuals at the company. They may be able to make key connections for you.
- List the experience: Post your internship on your LinkedIn profile. Share that you are working at the company and follow the organization (it will show up on your profile and reflect that you are interested when you select follow).
- Keep notes: After the internship, what did you learn? What did you like and what did you decide you definitely don’t like? This will help you determine where you might want to apply for your next job.
- Decide: Once you have worked at a company, startup or non-profit decide if this is the path you want to take or should you follow a new one. There is no wrong answer, only a way forward.
If you want to figure out what internship is right for you check out this free questionnaire that can predict the internship that best fits your goals.
Let us know below what you decided to do for your internship and what you learned from it. You can always reach out to us with a specific question, we love hearing from you!