The reality of most internships is that, there are a lot of bad experiences out there—from being under-utilized to being overworked and mistreated, the list goes on and on. That's why for me, it's always uplifting when I get to hear good internship experiences. I, for one, have had the good fortune to have an enjoyable internship experience. My supervisor was wonderful and she made sure to immerse me in most, if not all, aspects the job entailed and not just the menial tasks. I only rendered around 120 or 150 hours, I think, but I felt like I came out a year wiser. Below are just some of the things I learned in my first foray in the corporate world.
The Importance of Humility
In most workplaces, prestige is a huge thing, sometimes it's the only thing that drives people. I think a better statement and testament to one's work is how you treat people. Any competent recruiter who is worth his or her salt should know the value of people and how important each and every worker's contribution is to the workplace, however lowly or small. In essence, it's all about knowing how to distinguish your position from our shared values as a human being.
Going Beyond One's Comfort Zone
As a self-effacing person, I would rather avoid the limelight and its associated trappings. However, if you're in the corporate world looking to progress, one of the most detrimental thing you can do to your career is to stay stuck doing the things that you're only comfortable with. This doesn't mean that you should compromise your values or integrity, but you stand to benefit more if you go beyond your skill set or if you try doing things differently, even just once.
Emphasis on Quality
As an intern, it's easy to have the mentality to do just the bare minimum. After all, this is just a temporary stepping stone and one that you may or may not pursue in the far future. However, doing quality work is what will set you apart if you want to make a difference in your workplace. If your plan is to seek work in a similar field, or any other field for that matter, quality is still what will get you ahead. Not only will your work speak for itself but it's essentially a self-promoting tool.
Getting the Most Out of Your Experience
Whether your own internship is good or bad, keep the lessons—whatever they may be. If ever you encounter similar instances down the road, you'll know how to react and take appropriate action. The benefit is really for you to weave so you come out with a deeper understanding of what it takes to thrive in a corporate workplace.