Summary – Get the most out of your internship

This time around a lot of my blogger friends (younger friends anyway) are doing their internship. Basically internship is a part of their requirement to get a college degree where they need to work at a company for a period of time and learn all there is to learn about working experience.

Today’s post will be dedicated for them. A collection of my own experience on what the hidden lessons in internship they need to acquire to get the most out of the program.

1) Learn real people skill
Working people are quite different from students. They often view other people competitively, or sometimes they are too self-centered that they just ignore you completely. Yet there are still people who is kind hearted. Colorful people.

You should learn what is the best way to introduce yourself to them. And more importantly how to get their coperation on your task at hand. Basically you need to

  • Befriend one quick and get the inside story of everyone (of course casually)
  • Identify who people listen to, who people hate, who people like etc.
  • Your aim is to get your task done, and if you ask them for help (what ever group they are), they will more than happy to help. Find out how exactly to achieve this.

2) Learn how a boss become the boss
Once you had observed your colleague, you should start monitor your superior or your boss. Try to pinpoint what quality he has that makes him the boss. If for example, to be a boss you will need to have certain specialization certificate, jot that down. You now know what you need to get to sit on his chair someday.

  • Study how he handle people
  • Observe his working attitude, can you do that?

3) Secure your future career
The next thing you should question yourself is whether or not you would want to work in the company after you graduated. Well, you should because job hunting after you graduated can be a very tiring thing to do.

  • Obviously you will need to perform well in that internship.
  • Do some research on the company’s hiring process. It will be a good idea too to get to know the HR manager of the company and casually hinting to him about your intention of working there.
  • Insist on a recommendation letter from your superior. This will help a lot in your job hunting later on.
  • Take note on the details of other similar companies, such as contact person, type of industry. You may very well be working there.

4) Learn surviving work
One great thing about internship is that how ever you do, be it good or bad, you will stop working there after your internship is over. So do take up some experiment. Here’s a few ideas

  • Identify what motivates you to come to work
  • Try out the many ways to manage your stress
  • Get involve in the office politics
  • Make mistake, get yelled at by the boss and learn how to get up from that
  • Experiment with management system of the company such as 5S, or Decluttering etc. See which works on you

5) Learn how to manage your money
Most of the time, intern are underpaid, so this is a great challenge. How to survive with that small amount of allowances.

As easy as it sounds, this may be one of the hardest thing to do. It’s almost come naturally that when we have money, we will spend more. This is the basis of all budgeting.

  • Start by analyzing your expenditure everyday. Keep track of them and make a summary by the end of the month
  • Categorize your expenditure to maybe food, entertainment, travel, phone, bill, etc.
  • Now find a way to cut down 10% of expenditure in every categories.
  • You are now saving 10% of your salary. Keep increasing the percentage.
  • Other tips on managing your finance


Internship can be heaven or hell. However, since we must undergo it, why not take full advantage of it. You know people will take advantage of you.

– I wonder –
Any interesting stories from your internship?

———— Personal Note ————-
I actually did my internship at a petrochemical company. Unlike most universities, I worked there for 7 months. Hate waking up early then to catch the bus. Love the continuous supply of hot milo 🙂 Can’t forget the time I hitchiked a car to go to work, Good times good times

Don't want to miss a single tip? Get updates via RSS (Full) or Email

Appreciated action :

This post has 5 comments.

Pictures & Avatar next to all comments are courtesy of Gravatar
  1. filantera`
    29 Apr 08 12:11 pm


    dont focus on the technical part too much! but more on human relationship
    perhaps, find some love hehehe

  2. banji
    30 Apr 08 12:43 am

    filantera – can I stress the word “SOME” is used 🙂

  3. Thuy
    03 Dec 09 5:31 am

    Hi there
    I do have an experience acquired while doing my 5-month internship within a chemical company in the Nethelands. I have just graduated from school…For my job, sometimes I just don’t know what to do because of the lack of experience. But when I talk to people around, they tell me what I should do, they give me information for my project. Not only do I get my project done but also I’m inspired by them. Life is good again. Every problem has a solution. Just try to be patient, stay positive and keep on asking. I even tell myself that in the future I should be helpful when people will need me, because it’s very contagiously inspiring.
    Voila, just wanna share with u my story.

  4. 06 Dec 09 2:55 pm

    Thuy – Thank you for sharing your experience Thuy. The best thing about internship is that everyone expects you to ask question. So never feel shy or afraid of asking questions.

  5. Lauren
    13 Jan 13 12:47 pm

    Normally I do not leave comments on articles. However, I feel obligated to leave a comment regarding several points within this article. During an internship, and in any professional situation, it is best to stay out of office politics and gossip. Your suggestion to immediately befriend a person and “get the inside story of everyone” is horrible. Any student who does this will most likely not be offered a position with in the company.

banji Read In Your Email

Please enter your email address
    Unconventional Guides
    Advertise here
    Handbook for Life