Deciding to apply for an internship – either during your studies at an American university in Rome, or after you’ve completed your degree – is a giant step in the right direction on any career path. A field placement can do wonders for sharpening the skills you learn in school, and will provide valuable “evidence” for early resume-building (a major bonus for students without much work experience). John Cabot University’s Career Services Center provides over 150 competitive internships each semester.
So for example, if your plans are to study international affairs in Italy, snagging an internship with one of Rome’s UN agencies will likely increase your chances of catching a recruiter’s attention and landing your dream job after graduation. Or, let’s say you’d prefer to study art history in Italy instead – imagine earning a museum internship in Rome, capital of the country that is home to 70% of the world’s most recognized art and architecture!
No matter your motivation for pursuing an internship, once out in the field, you’ll want to get the absolute most out of the experience. Read on for tips on how to do just that.
Treat It Like a Real Job
You probably won’t get paid for your internship, but the experience and practical training will definitely be worth your time and hard work. If you show up on time every day, look professional and work hard, your superiors will take notice and you’ll make a stellar impression. It’s crucial to remember that every task you’re assigned (no matter how small) does affect the company in some way, so it’s important to follow through. And keep in mind, your dedication will bear fruit when you’re job hunting later on, and looking for good references.
Ask For Feedback
Asking your supervisors for regular feedback is crucial to professional growth. These insights will help you discover your strengths and weaknesses, as well as reveal opportunities for improvement. Even better, asking for feedback shows your superiors that you care enough about the position to take on some constructive criticism.
When in Doubt, Ask Questions
Though it can sometimes be tempting to avoid asking questions (because you’re afraid to look unknowledgeable), it’s simply not a good idea. Ultimately, an internship is a golden learning opportunity, and you should treat it like one. If you’re not sure how to do something, or don’t understand a key process or concept – ask for help. You will position yourself as dedicated and engaged, while avoiding unnecessary errors.
Socializing with colleagues during your internship can work to your advantage in so many ways. Networking helps you build relationships and make connections that could light your future career path. And of course, making new friends can’t hurt either. And these days, networking has become increasingly important, especially in a professional setting. The people you meet at an internship can provide advice and tips—and if you’re hoping to land a full time position at the company for which you’re interning, support from insiders is an incredible advantage.
Accept Those Challenges
One of the best ways to gain the most from your experience as an intern is to accept any tasks that are thrown your way. If you don’t feel confident in completing a task, accept it first and ask for help later. You’ll show your superiors that you’re not afraid of a challenge, while gaining opportunities to learn new skills.
Keep Track of Everything
It’s a good idea to keep track of all the hard work you’ve done during your internship. All of those new skills will add a lot of value to your resume. But as time passes, many students forget important details about what they learned at their field placement, and these impressive accomplishments never make it onto their resume. Keeping a work log is a great way to ensure that you don’t forget a single thing – very useful for future job hunting and applications to graduate school!