Guest blogger: How to make the most of your internship

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By Sonal Srivastava, University of Washington

I interned at Blizzard Entertainment, a video game developer and publisher of games like World of Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone and Starcraft. I have had a very successful stint of six months and I cannot wait to go back as a full time employee.
A few things which worked for me and I would recommend all aspirants are:

  1. Chart out a clear plan for your internship. It would help a lot to have an end goal in mind and being aware of key success factors to achieve your end goal.  Your manager is not a mind reader (and even if he is 🙂 ), he does not know what you are aiming for. Ideally before the internship starts or at least on your first day lay down your expectations clearly. Open communication will go a long way in achieving your objectives.
  2. Make a list of your learning objectives and share it with your manager. Go through that list every two weeks. If there is anything which you think might not happen before your internship ends, talk to your manager about it. I did that in my internship and my manager was happy to find ways for me to help me accomplish those objectives.
  3. Log your learnings. At the end of every week I would make a document outlining the work I accomplished and things I learnt and I would share this document with my manager. He was so impressed with my meticulous planning and diligent follow up that he actually encouraged other members to do the same.
  4. Reach out to your team mates for one on one discussions. I scheduled meetings with every colleague in last two weeks of my internship and asked them career related questions. I also requested them to highlight my strengths and weaknesses. This helped me in getting lot of different views and also learn about areas where I needed improvement. Also, I did not restrict myself to my team mates. I did the above exercise by finding friends and mentors outside my space too. I scheduled lunches with colleagues from the HR team, marketing team and even interns in other departments. This helped me better understand what they are doing, and learn more about the company.
  5. Lastly, a pro tip that worked for me was to also sit in meetings which were not related to my project. Just sitting in those meetings helped me better understand the work, learn about industry jargon and also how people conduct themselves and participate in tactful discussions.

This post is part of the Looksharp Internship Blog Competition. To read more about the competition and view other posts go here.

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