An internship is more than a prerequisite in higher education but a necessity to your transition between the academy and a professional environment. It comes with a bonus feature in which you are given leeway to make a few mistakes as is expected in the learning process. Take this as a chance to develop these five important traits that will help you as a professional:
Curiosity for every tools of the trade and workplace structure
Schools will teach you how to use the standard tools in the industry that you wish to pursue but many companies had to settle for cheaper and accessible alternatives. Thus, they will have hardware, software, and systems that were never mentioned in your school.
They aren’t completely new but are actually tailor-made solutions for specific jobs while industry-standard tools are usually for all kinds of uses. AIESEC aims to orient students with these tools, too, as electives for more specialised learning.
Sense of urgency and attention to deadlines
One of the biggest challenges interns have to face is learning agency to be more active in a professional environment. This is often a difficult trait to develop as many schools tend to focus on classroom-based learning unlike AIESEC’s more laboratory-based teachings. If you come from the latter, then the best way to develop this is to always volunteer for any task.
Involvement in the whole system of the company’s trade
Another trait you can develop through volunteering is involvement in the entire workplace system. You can meet people from other departments and learn how they work as well as how your department affects theirs. This knowledge of interconnected systems lets you gain a broader understanding of the company and its industry. It also lets you know more factors that come into decision making.
Agency that your position will allow
The most important trait that an employee can offer is agency as it is how you provide a major influence to the company. However, the amount of influence you have is limited to your current position so proposing a grand idea is not expected or wanted from an intern.
The best way to practise agency is to propose changes to systems involving only yourself such as your workplace, schedule, or methods. Your goal should be to replace traditional methods with more efficient systems that will benefit everyone. In future, when you are in a position of leadership or management, your insights will be even more valuable through practising agency.
Proactivity in learning more job opportunities and responsibilities
Your current position as intern is only the beginning of your career. Always learn about higher positions and their responsibilities in preparation for one day taking over those roles. This is how you plan your path from being an intern into the position you desire and reach it through promotions. You can do this by being proactive at helping your superiors in their tasks as it gives you the insight you need to understand it.