Your university life would not be complete without internships. Compulsory or not, internships are essential as they allow us to experience real working environments, (hopefully) applying what we’ve learnt in class, test waters  in different industries and positions, and last but definitely not least, to add value to our resumes. Less importantly, they help us avoid gaining too much weight while being a lazy bum throughout the holidays! Then the million-dollar question is, how do we make the most out of our internships? Depending on so many factors like the nature of the job and the size of the company, internship experiences will differ from one another. So here are some general tips to ace your internship, at least from our perspective. After all, everything is relative!

  1. Less is more? Probably not!

You may have heard from your seniors that an intern’s work is sometimes mundane and insignificant. But you don’t have to settle for just that. This is your chance to go the extra mile and do more than what’s  required. That way, not only are you enriching your own learning experience, you are more likely to leave a better impact and impression on your superiors that may even lead to future offers. Of course, bear in mind that you do not bite off more than you can chew in your very first week of work; it’ll backfire!


  1. Ask questions

It may seem like a no-brainer – when you’re in doubt, ask. But in reality it may not be that easy to follow. Being an intern, we will definitely have a lot of questions. But sometimes we may be deterred from asking by our fear of sounding stupid, the intimidating demeanor of our boss, or simply by our worry of asking too many questions and coming across as annoying. Well, most superiors should be happy with us clearing our doubts because it shows that we are thinking and that we care about the work that we do! Don’t be afraid of sounding stupid, because after all, we still have so much to learn. As for asking too many questions, you may want to brush up on your body language reading skills. We won’t discount the possibility that there may be times that you ask so many questions that it becomes a bother, especially when your supervisor is busy. But as long as the person you’re asking looks eager to answer and you don’t detect a hint of annoyance, we’d say ask away!


  1. Networking

Many would say this is one of the most important aspects of internships. Build your network and stay in contact. Forming relationships with your colleagues and bosses allow you to gain new knowledge and insights and possibly even future job recommendations and opportunities. You’ll never know when you’re going to cross paths again in the future, so better leave a good impression now! You may want to join social events outside of work to get to know them better. And by getting to know people better in an informal setting, you also get a better sense of the firm and this may help you decide if you want to work there in the future.

Source: http://i.huffpost.com/

Source: http://i.huffpost.com/

  1. Prioritise and be flexible

Some interns may have more work than others. This is where prioritising can help a great deal in ensuring you’re working efficiently.  Interns also often get handed work which is relatively unrelated to what they’re supposed to do. When this happens, we need to stay open and adaptable! After all, any work you do should have their own learning points and experiences. But if you’re really uncomfortable about the task you’re assigned to, do raise this issue with your supervisor – just remember to be professional and open to feedback.


  1. Enjoy it with a positive attitude!

All that said, even if it may get tough sometimes, we should just enjoy the process and approach all challenges with a positive attitude. Your internship is an opportunity that you should be grateful for, and it’s mainly up to you whether you want to make it an enjoyable experience or not. When it’s stressful, remember that you are challenging yourself so that you will leave your internship more experienced, skillful and with greater endurance. When it gets boring or mundane and you feel like you’re not a significant part of your company, know that it’s your choice to not just be another intern and to look on the bright side in any task that you do. So just enjoy your internship while it lasts (before going back to your same old university routine)!


We hope you’re enjoying your internships and holiday so far! 🙂

For internship opportunities, NUS students can visit https://talentconnect.nus.edu.sg/ to browse employers who are currently hiring. Or even better, if you’re living in the residences, talk to your RAs, who most likely would have done an internship or two, and could point you in a good direction!


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