Pursuing an international internship is a huge and exciting decision and we want to help you make the most of this life-changing experience.
Do Your Homework
Really want impress your supervisor? One of the best ways to show you are committed to your internship is to learn everything you can about the company before arriving. Most companies and organizations will have ample information about their history, mission, vision, and strategic plan on their website. Spend some time reviewing this information and see if it aligns with your goals.
You may be an intern, but you can have a huge impact on the company or organization you are working with. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals and communicate each goal with your supervisor. It is also very important that you set realistic expectations for yourself. You will not be running the company within four weeks of interning, but your input is valued. Remember that you have a different insight and view from the people you will be working with. So speak up.
For many interns, starting an internship is an exciting, but daunting, experience. As you enter a new workplace, you may be asked to perform what feels like administrative or menial tasks. In many instances, this is your internship site getting to know you – seeing how you handle day-to-day tasks before starting you in on a project that is more critical to them. They also need you to get to know them, to really understand their mission, vision, and values. If you’ve already done your homework, this trial period will be shortened substantially. Perhaps you don’t love every task given to you, but if you approach all tasks with a positive attitude, your willingness to do what is needed will be both appreciated and noticed.
Treat this opportunity like you would a real job. Ask to sit in on meetings, put your hand up to help with different tasks around the office, and be punctual. Make sure to ask for feedback from your supervisor. This is a great way to learn from experts in your field.
As an intern it is important that you are speaking up for yourself, and it is even more important that you are doing so in a tactful manner. Self advocacy is a great way to feel empowered. It is crucial that you are getting the most out of your internship and the experience is beneficial for both you and your host internship. If you have problems, it is best to speak up as early as possible. Talk with your TEAN Program Manager or local staff member as they can help you navigate the process and offer suggestions. Go to your internship supervisor with solutions, not problems. If your goals are not being met in your internship make sure to communicate this.