Kansas State University


K-State Career Center: Student Edition

5 ways to be an awesome intern

Interning can be an awesome way to gain real-world experience in your field and to add to your resume. Getting the most out of your internship is an important step in the career readiness process. Here are a couple ways you can excel in your internship.


Keep track of your projects

There are many different methods to utilize to keep track of your internship materials. Maya Tilmon, 2016 K-State graduate in mass communications, shared how she used a three ring binder to organize her internship projects.

“The internship binder was great because I loved being able to categorize all of my projects and work by event. This made it easier to see progress from drafts to final versions of each project. I also liked making handwritten notes on drafts so I knew what needed to be changed,” Tilmon said.

Whether you choose to create an online portfolio or to print a physical copy that displays your work, it is useful to be able to easily display what you accomplished during your internship.

Keep a journal of your intern activities

Another way to showcase what you learned during your internship is a written narrative of your day-to-day activities. Tilmon explained how keeping a journal of her internship was helpful to her.

“The internship journal was good for processing my thoughts and keeping track of the work I had done over the course of my internship… the journal gave an overview of my internship,” Tilmon said.

Keeping a detailed weekly or bi-weekly journal of the projects assigned, steps to complete them and challenges you may have faced will allow you to better articulate the process you completed during each project.

Be proactive

Utilize your time as an intern to cultivate your work ethic. Seek out ways that you can go above and beyond to contribute to a project. Taking initiative will not only allow you to complete tasks you may not have had the opportunity to do otherwise, but will also show your colleagues you are dedicated and excited to learn new skills to make the most of your internship.

Make connections with those around you

In any organization, there will be other staff members who most likely have had different experiences and learning opportunities they can share with you. Taking the time to connect with and learn from other employees will assist you in expanding what you will learn as an intern.

Learn other skills that may not necessarily be related to your field

Interns typically have a specific role within an organization, but branching out beyond this role is an excellent way to be the ideal intern. If your official title is “graphic design intern,” that does not mean you can’t proactively seek out extra opportunities not directly related to graphic design. Writing an article for the company newsletter may not be a task usually assigned to the graphic design intern, but it will expand your skill set. Constantly looking for new skills to learn and additional tasks to complete is a strong indicator of an excellent intern.

These are just a couple ways you can become an all-star intern. Be creative and seek out alternative projects to transform your internship into an experience that will positively impact your career journey.

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