Making the Most of your Internship Abroad

student-849825_1280Our summer internships are off to a great start! It’s exciting for me to hear from our interns about their new cities, homes and jobs – so many of them are getting such unique exposure in their fields, from music promotion in Galway to engineering in Reykjavik to tourism in Madrid – and so many more!

Eight weeks may seem like a short period of time, but it’s definitely long enough to develop some valuable professional skills, learn new things about the world (and about yourself) and leave a great impression with your supervisor and colleagues. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your short-term internship:

Take risks – You already took a huge risk by going halfway around the world for the summer! Bring that same adventurous spirit to your internship. Offer your opinion at a staff meeting, use your creativity to help solve a problem, or take on a project that intimidates you a little bit. Fully embrace that risk you’ve already taken!

Be assertive – If you feel ready to tackle a new assignment, need some clarity on a task, or have an idea of how to make an existing system more efficient, speak up! Your supervisor will appreciate your interest in being a self-assured, engaged member of the team, and you may get some additional exposure and learn some new skills.

Stay on your game – Remember why you made the choice to do an internship this summer. International travel certainly has allure, but you likely took this position as opportunity to develop your skills and have a hands-on experience in the working world. Stay alert and focused to make sure you soak up every opportunity at your placement.

Be flexible – I’m sure you’ve had this experience while on prior trips – no matter how much time and effort you put into a plan or itinerary, something is bound to go awry. No experience is perfect – there will inevitably be bumps and unexpected obstacles. Keep an open mind to seeing each experience as an opportunity to grow.

Hey Panrimo Alums – what other tips do you have for our current interns?