May 29, 2019 Make the most out of your summer and set yourself up for success in the long run. Summer internships are great opportunities to continue growing and developing as a professional, often while making money at the same time. At UAH we have hundreds of students every summer who work for companies all across the state and the nation. We have five tips for you to help you truly take advantage of the opportunity that your internship provides: Ask for input - Asking your supervisors or team leads for feedback on your work performance can be incredibly beneficial. We are all human and will always have areas in our life that need improvement, but we may not always be able to see them. At this point in your career, it is so crucial that you begin to identify your strengths and weaknesses, this way you can lean more into your strengths, while doing your best to improve your weaknesses. Most people will not just give unsolicited feedback, so you will have to take the first step in seeking that out. Set goals from the beginning - At the beginning of your summer internship, set goals that will keep you focused on growth during this team. Consider the following: “If I accomplish ______ this summer, then this internship will be a success,” or even “If I could only learn one thing this summer, then it would be______.” Identify SMART goals, specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, time-based, and track your progress over the summer. In your daily tasks, refer back to your questions and consider whether or not you are moving closer to your goal. Take on a project - Reach out to your supervisors and ask if there are any extra projects or research that you could undertake. Not only will this build credibility with your company, but it will give you the opportunity to practice some of your more technical skills. Your employer will be able to say that you are ambitious and always hungry for more opportunities. Once you have finished this project, you can include it in your resume as a way to highlight your technical skills and ability to perform research, a very valued skill in our modern age. Focus on deeper relationships - It would be impossible to truly befriend everyone in your office, though, you should take the time to learn everyone’s name. Instead of trying to mass please everyone, hone in on two peers that you want to invest your time in to build significant relationships. At the end of the day, a couple of deeper relationships will be a far greater investment than an office full of superficial ones. Stay connected - Even after the internship ends, do your best to remain connected with your previous co-workers. LinkedIn is a great way to stay in contact with them down the road. One summer working with them can end up being a lifelong professional relationship. Consider that they will be connected to your professional network from then on. This may seem like a tedious step, but you never know when you are going to need your network. If you’re in an internship right now, then consider these tips and really reflect on what you want your summer to be. If you only view it as a job to make money, then you will be wasting the true opportunity that it is. Take this summer to make the most of your position and make it a career-defining summer!