3 Tips On How To Get The Most Out Of Your Internship (From a Former Intern)
We all know that the Performing Arts and Music Industries are notoriously hard to break into.
That means you need any advantage you can get to make sure you get your foot in the door. But it isn’t all doom and gloom though because one of the best ways of launching your career can be through internships – and while yes that could mean doing a heap of coffee runs and menial administrative tasks, it also means forming valuable relationships with people that are in positions of power in your industry and with the possibility of even getting a job down the line.
So, break out your notepad and coffee tray because we asked AIM Alumni and internship aficionado Sam Hughes to give us her top 3 tips on how to get the most of your internship and kick-start your career.
While it may seem daunting at first, getting to know the people you work and interact with on a daily basis is extremely important, not just in terms of building relationships but to actually get an understanding of how the organisation you are interning in works and how people within it work together to make the business successful.
Even if you’re shy, attending things like work events or birthdays can be one of the best ways to build these relationships as it once again shows you’re willing to put the effort in.
Sam says that it also pays to keep in-touch with the people you’ve built up a relationship with because you never know when an opportunity may come up and you’ll want to be top of mind when that happens – online tools like LinkedIn are great for this. Sam’s tip here is to always leave a thank-you note once you finish your internship as your supervisor would have had to take time out of their busy day to work with you so it will be much appreciated.
Be Eager to Participate
As an intern, you’ll generally be asked to perform lots of small tasks which means that often you’ll find yourself with nothing to do once you complete a task. In situations like these it pays to approach your supervisor and ask for a new task as it shows that you are proactive and eager to participate – a quality that any prospective employer would highly value.
Sam says don’t be afraid to get outside help either – for example if you’re doing a PR internship then try borrowing a book on PR from your local library or read a few online articles about tips and tricks; that way you’ll be even more valuable to your supervisor.
While it won’t always be possible, sitting in on meetings is another great way of seeing the inner workings of a company – it may also seem intimidating but don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor if you didn’t understand anything during the meeting because remember, you’re there to learn and not mindlessly just complete the tasks assigned to you.
Being an intern doesn’t mean just sitting there and doing what you’re told – don’t be afraid to pitch any ideas you might have of possibly helping the business or even just a more efficient way of completing a task that you’ve been assigned to. Even if it isn’t adopted, your employer should be at the very least be able to explain to you why not – once again though this shows them that you’re thinking outside the box which can only help your prospects of securing a job.
Another way to show this can be through asking your supervisor if they have any projects they have been meaning to start and don’t have the time or are currently working on and if they would like help with that.
Ask for Constructive Feedback
Asking for feedback on the work you complete is one of the single most important things you can do to show your employer that you are fully committed to the internship as well as the fact that you are eager to upskill yourself, qualities any employer would highly value in a prospective employee.
Part of this means sitting down with your supervisor and setting goals at the start of your internship – what will you learn or be able to achieve by the end of the internship?
The next step is to record your progress – how you do this is up to you and depends on what kind of work you are doing but the general gist is to be able to demonstrate your development over the course of your internship and show that you have improved in your ability to perform these tasks. These are called KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and it’s these that measure how you’ve progressed or how successful you’ve been in completing the tasks assigned to you.
So there you have it.
Internships can be very demanding (especially in the music industry) but incredibly rewarding at the same time – the relationships you’ll create and the skills you’ll learn will make great additions to your resume and who knows, maybe in the future someone you interned under will remember how hard you worked and be in a position to offer you a job.
Remember though, the golden rule for any internship is that the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it. Go in with an open mind but don’t expect to receive a job when your time is up – in the end not all companies will be able to take you on but will be more than happy to provide you with a great reference.
At AIM we know how important practical industry experience is and therefore we’re committed to developing our students both personally and professionally by providing actual industry experience through tailored internship programs. If you would like to find out more about the courses AIM offers or the internship opportunities available click the link below to find out more!
FIND OUT MORE!