Our student helper Toni, a final year Psychology student, writes about how to get the most out of your work experience.
You’ve secured your internship or placement, but what next? Here are my top three tips to get the most of your work experience.
1. Ask questions
If you are ever unsure about something, always ask! Starting a new job can be daunting. The training week has gone by and you’re still confused. That’s not uncommon, it’s a lot of information to take in in one go, and you’ll find that you may learn quicker whilst doing things. That’s why it is so important to ask someone for help if you’re stuck. The people around you are there to help you, they don’t want to see you fail and most times they are happy to help!
2. Say yes
You’re on an internship or a placement year, you’ve worked this hard to get this position. Don’t waste a single moment of this opportunity. Your supervisor is going off-site to attend a meeting? Ask if you can tag along – you never know who you might meet or what you might learn. Your colleague has started a new project – ask if you can help or shadow. The other interns are going for lunch – join them! This opportunity is much of a networking opportunity as it is for you gain work experience. To get the most out of the role, you have to put yourself out there.
3. Keep a journal
I was involved in so many different things during my placement year and it can be hard to keep track of what you did. Keeping a written record of what you got up to on your placement year can help you summarise it all on your CV and provide you with great examples during an interview! I had a dedicated notebook that included everything placement related – from events I attended, people I worked with and projects I completed. As a result I now have a book full of contacts and examples I can draw on when filling out job applications in the future.