When I started my internship at Hardie Grant, I didn’t know what to expect. Was I going to get the valuable experience I was hoping for or was I going to be fetching coffees and photocopying?
Fortunately, my internship has been an invaluable experience and has given me a great deal of guidance towards the path that I want to take in my career.
As an intern it’s important to make the most of your time at a company. Here are the top five things I’ve learnt while working at Hardie Grant.
Always say yes
Always say yes and take on challenging projects.
I commenced my internship at Hardie Grant sure that I was going to work in books and publishing. Fortunately, I was encouraged by my managers to try other areas of the company and found that creating content and writing is what I enjoy doing and would like to continue doing.
“Curiosity and a willingness to learn” are the two qualities Hardie Grant Media managing editor Georgia Lejeune says she looks for when hiring. Going into your internship with a willingness to learn is a huge strength and a quality that all businesses look for in any potential employee.
Be open to networking opportunities
Internships offer an opportunity to network and form connections with possible future employees and colleagues. Use your time to meet people from different teams, ask them about what they do and how they got to be in their role.
Make the most of these networking opportunities. The connections you make could be what ultimately puts you in front of an applicant pool when you’re applying for an industry job. Sometimes what makes a difference is who you know.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to show interest. You are there for a learning experience and part of learning is asking questions. Make the most of having access to the people who are experts in your areas of interest.
Always ask for feedback. Receiving and implementing feedback will only help you improve and broaden your skill set.
You can set goals at any point of your internship. Think about why you’re there and what you want to get out of it.
Communicate constantly with your managers. Let them know what you’re enjoying and what you aren’t. Make it clear what areas and teams interest you, or you could miss out on an amazing opportunity – your managers aren’t mind readers.
The main thing a company hopes for in an intern is “a positive attitude and a willingness to learn,” says managing director Nick Hardie-Grant. Be willing to try new things and challenge yourself, but also be open in communicating what your goals are.
Remember what you offer
For an internship to be effective it should always be mutually beneficial for both a business and an intern. Interns bring fresh eyes, increase diverse thinking and offer support, while employers offer hands-on experience and invaluable learning opportunities that can’t be taught in a classroom.
From a business point of view, bringing on interns is “good for up-and-coming staff who haven't managed people to get an opportunity to manage the internship process and learn what it’s like to communicate with individuals and delegate work,” says strategy director Kate Thompson.
This kind of exposure is necessary for any future leaders in a business.
“Interns are really the next generation of talent for our industry,” says account director Scott Elmslie. Remember that today’s interns are tomorrow’s employees.
Dharma Rogers, CareerTrackers intern
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