Every month, RTS Scholars gather at virtual workshops to learn the secret to unlocking the career of their choice. At last month’s workshop, a small panel of professionals, a RTS alum, and a current RTS Scholar discussed how to get the most out of an internship experience. Their advice was so good that we couldn’t keep it to ourselves. Here are some key takeaways: 

  • Don’t be a stalker, but do your research!

It’s important to stay curious and learn more about the company, industry, and person you will be working for. When you come prepared and ready to ask questions, you’ll stand out to the professionals around you and even increase your chances of securing a permanent full-time role after your internship. 

  • Everyone is willing to help you if you ask

You may think that you don’t have much power as an intern. However, your power comes from asking questions. For example, ask executives or senior management about what paved the way for their success and what tips they have for you. Asking for help can be intimidating, but it can set you up for future success in your career.

  • Remember that the people you are trying to network with are human 

While it’s important to build relationships with as many people in your company as possible, remember that the people you are trying to network with are human just like you. People may put their guard up around you if they feel like you’re not genuinely interested in getting to know them. Try to find things in common with people when you’re networking. Though it may seem scary at first, remember that they were in your shoes a few years ago. 

  • Be excited about your internship

As an intern, you may feel like your role is not important and won’t make a big difference at your company. However, being chosen as an intern means that someone decided to take a chance on you. That’s exciting! Showing that you really care about the work that you will be doing will make a good first impression with your supervisor. 

  • Rely on your community for support

One of the best parts about being an intern is the opportunity to build relationships with professionals that could help you in the future. That being said, don’t forget to tap into the community you already have. Having the support of your peers with similar internships can help you understand the challenges that you may face in your role. This support can also help you feel less alone in your internship journey. 

Please share this advice with anyone that you know that’s about to start their first internship or post-college job! Thank you so much to Deanne Yamamoto, Molly Kemper, Reeves Gift, and Brandon Castro for their advice. If you would like to volunteer at a monthly workshop, click here. 

Read the next article in May’s newsletter: Share Your Thoughts About RTS With a Digital Survey!