Everyone knows that getting an internship (or a few!) is crucial for building your resume during your college career. But it’s one thing to HAVE internships, and another thing to actually GAIN something from them. Do you know how to best take advantage of these opportunities? Keep reading for strategies on how to make your internships work for YOU!

  1. Put technical skills to use in a practical setting
    • Think about your challenge-driven education at Daniels. Are you utilizing this knowledge in your internship? If not, talk with your supervisor to see if there are ways the company could benefit from your skills!
  2. Network and conduct informational interviews
    • Use any extra time or lunch breaks you might have to network with your supervisor and co-workers. Take them out for coffee and ask about their background and career path. This is not only a great learning experience, but a way to build professional relationships that may help you in the future.
  3. Learn about office culture/workplace protocol
    • Take the opportunity to learn about the nuances of working in a professional business setting. This is a chance to enhance your soft skills! Get to know the rules around dress code, vacation and sick time, lunch breaks, email etiquette, etc. These cultural nuances vary by company, but all recruiters and hiring managers love to hear that you have an understanding of professional business etiquette and office culture.
  4. Observe what you like (and don’t like) in a job
    • Make note of what you enjoyed about your internship, and also what you didn’t enjoy. No job or company is perfect, but this is your chance to find out if you see yourself continuing in a certain type of company or industry long term!
  5. Learn new skills (and add them to your resume ASAP)
    • Keep a list of projects you worked on, skills you improved upon or gained, and things you learned about working with other people during your internship. Add them to your resume while you are still working or immediately afterwards so they are fresh in your mind. This list is also excellent to look back on when preparing for future interviews!

As always, Daniels Career Services is here to help with finding internships, but also with reflecting on how they fit into your overall career path. Schedule a career appointment through the Student tab in Pioneer Web, or call 303-871-3911.

By: Toni (Gabrielli) Phelan, Assistant Director and Undergraduate Career Coach at Daniels Career Services