How to Cater Your Internship Toward YOU

By Kristina Lee

First, let’s take a minute to give yourself a pat on the back. You got through the application process and you have made it to your internship. Congratulations!

Now, it’s more important than ever to think about what you want to get out of your real-world experience. By this I mean, do you want to be managing the company’s social media? Are you interested in improving your videography skills? Perhaps you want to learn more about writing scripts…

Whatever it is, remember that your internship should be a learning experience. Of course it’s important to get tasks from your supervisor, but it’s also important to utilize your strengths and explore your own interests while you are able to work in a real-world environment with individuals who are willing to help you succeed!

So, how do you personalize your internship?

Schedule a meeting with your internship supervisor your first week to discuss what you would like to learn and accomplish throughout this experience. Talk about your personal goals, your interests, and projects you want to work on. Ask if there are any opportunities for you to get “hands-on” experience. By having this discussion with your supervisor, she will be better able to determine how to best utilize your skill set and assign you more interesting tasks.

When I was an editorial intern for Girls’ Life Magazine, my supervisor and I had this discussion. I explained that I was interested in working with the publication’s social media. I also shared that I wanted to improve my writing skills while gaining experience in event management. She took all of this information into consideration and, that same day, I was assigned to schedule social media posts across multiple platforms and write articles for the website. The day after, I was assigned to work on social media for an ad campaign; and later on, I eventually became involved in the planning of the magazine’s annual Fashion Bash event. I was able to gain experience in all of these areas because of one conversation with my supervisor.

Another tip for personalizing your internship would be to pitch your own stories or project ideas. This, of course, means speaking up. Don’t be afraid to tell your supervisor about your great idea. You never know if they may think that your idea is better than their own! If they do, you’ll most likely be able take on that task yourself. And the best part? You’ll be passionate about it!

At Girls’ Life, I pitched all of my own article topics and was able to write about my own interests. Not only did this make the process exciting, but it also made it extremely rewarding.

So, now that you have advice on how to personalize your internship, take it into your own hands! Communicating with your internship supervisor is key and if you take this advice into consideration, you’ll get the most out of your internship experience. Good luck!

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