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04/06/2013

Eight ways to make your internship experience great.

A great internship could be a great learning experience, helping you learn invaluable skills, as well as build a good network that will help you get a job, and build a great career in future. Here are eight ways your manager can contribute in making your internship experience great.

The manager should take you for lunch on the first day. It's the right thing to do and it sets the right tone, messaging that your manager is excited to have you on board. It will also give you a chance to get to know one another. Even better, the manager could invite some of her colleagues along.

The manager should set aside one hour to talk about her upcoming projects. The manager should give an overview of the organization and detail what your first assignment will be. Moreover,
highlight how and why that assignment will help drive business results. If possible, she should explain the rationale behind the project she ahs assigned you.

The company should have resources at hand. These range from reading materials, marketing reports, people to speak with, a desk to sit at. The goal is twofold: To help you be successful with the tasks at hand, and it will also demonstrate that the company is orderly. Nothing says, "we don't really care about you" like "welcome — give us a few days to figure out where you're going to sit and what you're going to do."

The manager should set expectations up front. You should be briefed on the time the workday starts and ends or what is the appropriate office attire. The company should also brief you on whether it’s appropriate to use the office computer for accessing the internet, and on browsing social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The manager should help you network. She should come up with a list of people that you would benefit from meeting. She should make introductions on your behalf, and come up with additional names of others she would like you to meet.

She should ask for your input. You should be able to tell the manager freely of people in the company you’d like to meet, topics you would like to explore, and the experiences you’d like to have. This is two-way street that will be beneficial to both of you.

The manager should offer feedback. Of course, the feedback will not be every day or even weekly, but she should give reviews at least twice or thrice during the internship. Most importantly, she shouldn’t wait till the end of the internship to give you feedback, since feedback is a mean to help you know where you stand, and where you need to improve.

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