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How to make the most of your internship in Australia?

1 mei 2012

Stage-Australia knows that thinking in advance about your internship and how to make the most of your internship might not be the number one priority because it already is such a huge step for you to go abroad and leave family and friends for a certain period of time.

Anyways, we recommend you to do so. If you follow these tips you should be well on your way not only to a successful internship, but a successful career as well.

Think about what you would like to reach and learn during the internship
It is crucial to set personal goals. These goals should be realistic and should fit to your tasks at the company. It takes some time to figure this out, but you will definitely feel a greater sense of accomplishment once you have achieved them. Goals could be: building up your personal network, learning new skills or learn more about team work! If you really do not have time to think about your personal goals, think about them during your flight to Australia. You will have enough time to do so.

Stay enthusiastic and keep your positive attitude
As an intern you will start off with tasks you probably will not prefer doing for the whole period of your internship.  It is important that you complete all the assignment with a smile on your face. This will show your employer that you are willing to learn and it shows your working attitude. The quickest way to kill a good internship is negativity. Avoid complaining, arriving late, missing deadlines or appearing arrogant at all costs. When following these tips it will show your ethics to the supervisor and will create trust that you will be able to handle more complex assignments in the future. 

Interaction with your company supervisor
It is important to have several meetings with your supervisor to discuss good and bad experiences during the internship. This will also help you in your personal development and will point out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Be a good listener and keep your supervisor informed about your accomplishments. Even though your supervisor is really busy, make clear that these meetings are very important to you and offer to have Skype-meetings in case your supervisor is travelling a lot.

Ask questions and take the initiative
Our experience at Stage-Australia showed that it is really important to take initiative. You will leave a good impression if you are willing to learn and if you show that you are keen on getting the most of your internship. Do not be scared to try to help your supervisor with a problem by giving suggestions. If you do not overstep your authority, your supervisor will be more than happy to get some input from you.

Moreover,  always remember that an internship is a learning experience for you. It is more than natural that you do not know everything. Please ask questions in case you encounter something that is not familiar to you. You are doing an internship in a foreign country in a language which is not your mother language, so nobody is expecting you to know all the business terms.

Get to know the company and the culture
Take the opportunity to attend meetings, conferences, events or social events and talk with as much employees as possible. It will increase your knowledge; you will build up relationships and broaden your network. Especially if you are not that familiar with doing business in Australia, it is a great opportunity for you to find out more the working culture in Australia. It is a great opportunity to get as much exposure as possible.

Networking is crucial
One of the most important things during your internship is to learn how to network. It is one of the key tools for job-hunting. Supervisors or managers of the organization may help you with their contacts to find a job after graduating. Always leave on good terms because you never know you would be able to help you in a later stage of your career. 

Leave with tangible accomplishments and a good reputation
It is always useful to leave with tangible accomplishment.  Keeping a journal may help you remember all the things you accomplished on your internship.

Enjoy yourself
It is most important that you will have a good experience at your internship. As long as you have fun working and learning, the company will appreciate your positive attitude and will be happy having you on their team.

Say thank you
Thank the company and your company supervisor for giving you the opportunity to work at the company.  Tell the supervisor what you were getting out of your internship. Don’t be shy to ask for a letter of recommendation. This will surely be useful for your further career.