How to Get the Most out of your Summer Internship

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Kelly Goss is a rising senior at NYU in Global Liberal Studies with minors in Psychology and French. She has studied abroad at NYU’s campuses in Paris and London.  Kelly has worked in editorial, marketing, publicity, and recruitment roles, and she is now excited to be interning with the Human Resources department at Time Inc (@TimeIncCareers). Follow her on Twitter @kgoss12 or on LinkedIn.

On June 1st, I sat in the auditorium of the Time and Life building with more than 100 other interns who had been selected to participate in Time Inc. summer internship program. Chief Human Resources Officer Greg Giangrande (@greggiangrande) made us excited to begin what we knew would be an unforgettable experience. He encouraged us to make the most of our ten weeks at one of the most influential media companies in the world, and throughout my time working in the HR department of Time Inc. I have always kept Greg’s words in mind.

For all of you who are also pursuing your dream internship this summer, here are my top seven tips, based on my own experience, for making the most of your summer internship.

Write down one goal for yourself

Entering your dream internship may feel overwhelming on your first day. When I started working at Time Inc. this summer, our orientation leaders had us write down one goal that we had for ourselves as we worked got ready to tackle our new roles. Goals can be anything from wanting to get coffee with a manager and learning a new skill to figuring out what role this industry is the right one for you. Keep your goal with you at your workspace to keep you motivated and focused on what you want to achieve during your internship.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to a senior manager

While it may be difficult to imagine, even those in the highest positions at your company started off right where you are as an intern. Don’t be afraid to send them an email asking if they have a quick moment to talk with you about your career questions. These higher-ups can provide you with crucial advice as you enter your career and they will be impressed with your initiative.


Network with your fellow interns – they are your future colleagues!

When interns are encouraged to network, they often are told to reach out to managers. While this type of networking is certainly important, interns seem to forget that connecting with their fellow interns can be just as important for job hunting in the future. Those who you intern with will be your colleagues when you enter the workforce and are an essential professional support network. Make time to eat lunch with the other interns in your company and connect with them on Linked In.

Explore the city you work in

For many interns, the city they work in for the summer is not where they attend college or where their family is from. Don’t forget that not only is your internship an opportunity to discover if a specific industry or position is right for you, but it is also a chance for you to explore whether or not your new city is one where you would like to live and work one day. Take the time on weekends and after work to explore some of the highlights of your city and to get to know the people who live there.  Research what industries are the most prominent in your city and how you can learn more about them. Ask yourself whether you could see yourself living there in the next five years.

Get lunch or coffee with someone new each week

As the weeks progress in your internship, you will most likely be working with the same team of people, or one person, on a daily basis. Often we can get comfortable interacting only with those who we immediately work with. Research other positions on your team or even in another department and make sure to reach out to those you would be interested in talking with. The more people you interact with and the more perspectives you are able to have, the more prepared you will be to make bigger career choices down the road.

Take Initiative to Help Your Team

If you notice that your department seems extra busy with a big project or transition, or if you ever finish your assignments with time to spare, take the initiative to think of ways in which you can help and ask your supervisor for feedback.  For example, if you know that your team wants to improve its social media, come up with a list of ideas for how they can gain more followers and present it to your manager. Think ahead and show your team that you are aware of their projects and can take the action steps needed to be an asset for them to reach their goals.

Keep in touch after your internship is over

One of the most important ways to have your summer internship make an impact on your future career is to keep in touch with those you worked with – managers, fellow interns, informational interviews, etc. Send a personalized message to these individuals on LinkedIn letting them know that you enjoyed working with them and would like to stay in touch. Keep them posted every few months on your career advancements and utilize them as a resource whenever you have industry questions. If they have a job open in the future you will already be on their mind as a candidate.

Interested in working with Time Inc.? Check out these current entry-level opportunities:

Social Media Producer with Sports Illustrated

Integrated Marketing Coordinator