Summer Internship Success Tips

By the OCS FTMBA Team.

For those of you who missed the Shining Through Your Summer workshop earlier this week, this article will recap some of the important tips shared during that workshop to make your summer internship successful. Most importantly, keep in mind your internship is like a 10-12 week interview. Good luck to all doing an internship this summer!

BEFORE the internship:

  • Contact your supervisor to find out how you should best prepare ahead of time. If possible, find out your project topics and research them.
  • Network with 2nd years who interned there last summer and Smith alumni who currently work there regarding office culture and expectations.
  • Inform other employers with whom you met / interviewed during first year recruiting where you will be spending the summer and ask to stay in touch (if interested).  

DURING the internship:

  • Get clarity around your employer’s expectations, including timelines and metrics. Seek clarification when necessary. Deliver early and error-free.
  • Confirm the parameters of your end of summer project so you can begin working on it immediately.
  • Volunteer for extra projects if time permits and / or initiate one.
  • Immerse yourself. Attend all social events and network.
  • Manage your stress and attitude. How do you handle stress? Do you treat all members of the team as partners, including support staff? Are you positive? Strong work ethic?
  • Manage your time. Meet deadlines, prioritize responsibilities, don’t overextend.
  • Convey culture-appropriate attire / appearance.  Do you look professional for the role? Appropriately casual for casual Fridays?
  • Keep a record of your accomplishments!!  
  • Reassess your goals at the end of the internship. Is this the type of role in which I will excel? Am I comfortable with this company’s culture?
  • Stay in touch with the other employers you met during first year recruiting.

AFTER the internship

  • Rewrite your resume using your accomplishment record as a starting point. Confirm with your manager.  
  • If you receive an offer, express excitement, even if you don’t know if you will accept. Clarifly offer deadline and seek advice from OSC coach if given an “exploding offer.”
  • Thank everyone with whom you have interacted, either in person before you depart, or via email or personal note afterwards.
  • If your employer does not recruit at Smith, invite them to visit!
  • Stay in touch with all of your new connections, including your fellow interns.
  • Reach out to other employers with whom you’ve remained in touch to update them on your status.

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