Make the most of your internship

Follow our guidelines and checklist to learn and impress, and make the most of your internship.

Think of the coming days and weeks of your internship as an extended interview. Seize every opportunity to learn and develop. Remind yourself daily that the employer and your work colleagues will all be assessing your performance but it is also your opportunity to learn more about the culture of your workplace and assess whether it is right for you.

Professional conduct

Here are some tips to help you convey a good impression in a professional context:

  • Dress appropriately and look well-groomed and professional. If there is a dress code, stick to it.
  • Take notes including names of work colleagues, instructions, advice, details of systems and procedures, tasks to be done and deadlines, who to consult if you get stuck and any queries to discuss with your mentor or supervisor.
  • Clarify tasks and what is required to complete them to a high standard.
  • Seek out regular feedback on your work performance, during the process as well as at the end of an assignment.
  • Maintain an enquiring mind-set and a customer focus.
  • Check out the top tips on how to get the most out of your internship in our online career centre.


Build strategic relationships, beyond immediate work colleagues and mentors, if the culture of the organisation allows you to do this.

Check out the Networking Cheat Sheet in our online careers centre to help you initiate conversations and develop positive relationships within the organisation.

Seeking feedback

Seek out regular feedback on your performance, throughout as well as at the end of an assignment.

Learn what you can do to support yourself so that you are in the best possible place to receive feedback and take action.

Opportunities for development

Make the most of opportunities for personal and professional development.

  • Take advantage of in-service training and professional development opportunities. Volunteer for interesting work but also show that you don’t mind doing routine tasks that support your colleagues.
  • Be future focussed and aim to leave the organisation with a tangible outcome or product such as a completed statistical report, instruction manual or social media strategy.
  • Propose solutions (and be prepared to justify them) if you notice something significant that is a problem or that can be improved. But be diplomatic and never assume that the issue has not been noticed before, or solutions proposed.
  • Provide a valuable international perspective if you can, from your university studies or from your overseas experience.

Developing resilience

Prepare to deal with challenges that might arise during your internship and beyond by developing strategies to help you overcome the obstacles and use then to help you grow.

Learn what resilience is and how you can enhance your resilience strategies to get better at what you do both at work and in your personal life.

Reflection and follow-up

  • Keep a record of your accomplishments so that you can use this information in future job applications and interviews. You can also note any concerns or issues that may arise.
  • Check that it will be OK to add the internship experience to your CV and LinkedIn profile.
  • Check that your manager is prepared to be a referee (and perhaps others that you have worked with). Write a thank you email to your manager and include a current copy of your CV and state your plans.
  • Check out the Reflecting on your experience resource in our Online Career Centre to ensure you get the most of your internship experience. You might also want to use this reflection model to help you.
  • Don't forget to thank your employer or host for offering you the chance to gain some experience. The most effective way to do this is by writing as it can help you to remain connected with the person or organisation.

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