Maximize the Experience
Experiential learning opportunities, including internships, are a key opportunity to explore career possibilities, gain hands-on experience and meet "people in the field." What you get out of an internship depends, at least in part, on what you put into it.
When volunteers are called upon to perform a task, raise your hand. Show interest and enthusiasm for learning new material. Or, if you learn about a project you would like to take on – do not wait for someone to put out a call for volunteers. Go ahead and ask if you can work on it. Step out of your “comfort zone” - volunteer for projects that will be challenging so you can gauge if you have the aptitude to develop skills in those areas.
Let your supervisor and others know you take your role seriously. Your dress, timeliness, and preparation will all impact your success in the internship.
Do not be afraid to say
"I don't know how." While employees are usually hired on the basis of their skills, most supervisors assume that interns need more training. View the experience as a chance to obtain training and enhance your skills. Also, encourage your supervisor to point out your weaknesses, and accept criticism with interest, not defensiveness. This is an opportunity for you to train yourself to learn from others.
Employers view interns as a “breath of fresh air.” You can help them by suggesting solutions to their problems. They want to hear ideas but do not expect them to jump on every suggestion.
Internships give you the opportunity to meet other interns and employees. Take advantage of being on the “inside” of an organization. Arrange informational interviews with staff in other departments of interest to you. The more individuals you can meet within the organization, the better your prospects of making contact with someone who can assist when you are looking for full-time employment.
Try something new; investigate a career area you have never considered. You may find a career path that is more to your liking! One method for doing this is to shadow employees working in the organization’s various divisions/departments. (You will need to first get the approval from your supervisor and/or instructor before taking this step.)