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8 Ways to Ace Your Summer Internship

Can you believe it? Spring is coming to a close, and you’re about to head to the first day of your summer internship. Whether you’re on your first internship or what you hope is your last, transitioning from the academic world to the professional realm can be a difficult process. That’s why our Associate Director for College Recruiting, Jennifer Yoder is sharing key tips for acing your summer internship and turning it into a future job offer:

  1. Prepare: Learn as much as you can about the company and what’s currently happening ─ go beyond the front page of the website. Be prepared with a few questions about the company’s strategy or issues that are important to you and find opportunities to ask your supervisors and colleagues.
  2. Presence: It’s like they say, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Pull yourself together, greet people with eye contact and a smile and shake hands firmly. You may have a two-second run-in with a senior executive, and this confident approach may get you noticed.
  3. Take notes and ask questions: Whether it’s on your device or on a journal, you’re going to be in information overload ─ write it down so you don’t miss important points and so you can reference information when you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions for clarification or even to ask why the company does something that way. Remember, the employees know you are new to the business and really want to hear your thoughts and perspective.
  4. Do more of what you’re good at: Make your strengths known and demonstrate how they benefit the company. Don’t be afraid to bring your ideas to the table ─ after all, that’s why they hired you. Use your strengths to take your project/role to the next level ─ what can you deliver besides just what was given to you to do?
  5. Build your network: Reach out to people at all levels. While it may seem intimidating to approach so many new faces, people generally want to talk about what they do. It will give you greater perspective on how your role contributes to the larger organization. This is a really key area, but you have to be mindful here ─ pay attention to the reputation of those you network with and the influence they can exert on your performance and recommendation for hire. The people you surround yourself with should complement your strengths, fill in your gaps and be people you genuinely like.
  6. Default to “yes”:  Volunteer yourself, raise your hand and demonstrate that you are willing to get involved. Go beyond the basics, because you’re smart and will figure it out. If you’re feeling stuck, utilize your network, ask questions and, most importantly, use that information to make strong recommendations.  
  7. Discover and assess: An internship is like an extended interview. You’re evaluating the company as much as they are evaluating you ─ take full advantage of all opportunities to make a sound decision.
  8. Jump in: This is one of the greatest times of your life to soak it all in, meet people and learn more about yourself and what you can and want to accomplish down the road. At the end of the summer, you should feel that you have wrung every bit out of the experience. And don’t forget to have FUN!

Were these tips helpful? Get more advice like this, as well as everything from cool opportunities to emerging industry trends, on AT&T On-Campus. Interested in bringing your newfound intern knowledge to the AT&T team? Check out our internship opportunities

Jenn Yoder

Jennifer grew up in Southern California, where she earned her BA and MBA in Business with a focus on Marketing and International. After a stint in the music industry, she joined the AT&T family in 2003. Jennifer later moved to Dallas in 2011 to lead new programs and now manages a team responsible for all the graduate hiring and relationships with 31 universities across the country. She loves the different, challenging and fun roles she’s had and those to come. She also enjoys having fun with her family, and stays very active with her husband and kids

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