Every job seeker scrambles to find an internship program either at college or after graduating. Internships are the top cream on your CV as you look for a job in Kenya today.
Internship programs are essential for any job and can offer a lot of experience to students hoping to get ahead. But how can you get the most out of yours?
Well I personally learned seven things on my own editorial internship experience.
Here Are The Lessons I Learned During My Internship At PEOPLE DAILY
1. Even as an intern, there are responsibilities
In the entire three months I was at my internship working for the People Daily newspaper, Digital department, I only wrote four articles. I don’t know what the normal standards are for interns at publications, but I think I could have done more.
I wish I would have asked for more work and when I was asked to contribute another article, I should have said yes. Anyway they did not give me that chance to write more.
Remember that the more you do, the more you have to show for the experience when you’re looking for another internship or a job.
2. Talk with your supervisor(s)
Supervisors have a lot of experience and they have obviously made it in that particular field. Ask them how they got this far and what career advice they have for you. You could learn a lot and get some great ideas.
Do not be afraid to ask questions. In my first week, I asked the bare minimum amount of questions which I now realize was one of my biggest mistakes on the job.
When given a task, I would attempt to understand it to the best of my ability, which would just waste my time. This derailed my learning experience. This naivety impeded my progress early on, started to improve.
If you don’t understand some tasks, be direct and ask them for more guidance and advice.
3. Speak up of any accruing challenge
Many times I would be sitting at my isolated desk with endless questions about what I was supposed to be doing.
I was completely paralyzed in my chair because I was too afraid to walk around or bother anyone.
I rarely moved from my desk the first few weeks, but I would have been much more efficient and happier if I had gotten up, asked my questions, and got back to work.
If you need help, just ask! It’s much easier than planning out a route to your boss’s cubicle, writing out a specific dialogue, and rehearsing it ten times.
4. Good Time Management
After adapting newsroom culture for sometimes, I learnt to adhere to the rules and regulations of the office. Work began at 8 am and ended at 3 pm.
I usually arrived at 7 am and left at 5 pm. I don’t know if I was overworking but that became a habit I perfectly enjoyed.
5. Work hard
This is an obvious one, but don’t waste time. You’re there to work, and they didn’t have to give you this opportunity. Make the most of your time and theirs.
As for me I worked so well for them despite the fact that it was a non-paid internship, the experience, practical skills and knowledge I acquired was valuable. I got opportunity to learn all sorts of things about the industry and company.
6. Adhering to the office dress code
Once I started the program, I watched how they interacted, how they talked, how they dressed, and their repeated habits. Finally I was good to go.
Though I was used to casual student life, the internship changed me to official & professional dress code.
Lesson: If you’re not sure how to dress look at how your co-workers dress or ask your supervisor before you start.
7. Be thankful
The company’s level of professionalism is unparalleled, and the collaboration between individuals and departments was superb.
At the end of internship program, I was so appreciative of the opportunity to contribute to People Daily digital team.
This sounds stupid, right? But always remember the best thing you can do is to send a handwritten note thanking them for the experience and opportunity to work with them.
It’ll leave them with good thoughts about you and you can most likely refer to them for a recommendation later.
In brief, you must put your best foot forward and avoid anything that would compromise your internship benefits. I hope these lessons gives you an insight of what you are expected of you.
Avoid the common mistakes that interns make that could cost you a great professional reference or an offer for a full-time position with the company.
Tobias is a Communication Officer/Digital Specialist at Jobs Kenya Network. For any related queries, Leave a Comment below.