Studienforum Berlin e.V.

Studienforum Berlin

Tips for a Successful Internship 


  Expect a period of adjustment.

Be patient and flexible with yourself, your co-workers and supervisor, and the work environment. It will take time for you to adapt to your new job and organization.

  Adopt and maintain an open attitude.

Resist the temptation to make snap judgements or find flaws with your new job. Use the resources of Studienforum Berlin (Resident Director, student coordinator, program staff, etc.) to discuss issues and problems and determine strategies for solving them.

  Talk to everyone.

Do not be intimidated because you are a student. People are often too busy to offer you focussed attention. Take the initiative to talk with co-workers and supervisors, and ask questions.

  Ask for tasks to do.

Do not wait to be told what to do. Solving problems and taking the initiative are the best methods for maximizing your learning.

  Read everything you can get your hands on.

Reading mission and vision statements, websites, letters, memos, press releases, trade publications, and marketing communications will help you to become informed on many elements of your organization and your field.

  Do not complain about the grunt work.

There is always something more to learn. How long you do grunt work depends on what you make of it. Each experience serves a purpose. Learn how the small things fit into the big picture.

  Exploit your student status.

As a student, you pose little "threat" and can often have more access and opportunities than a full-time employee. Most everyone wants to help a student learn.

  Make the effort to get along with everybody, especially your boss.

Learn who people are, what they do, and how you can help them and how, in turn, they can help you.

  Explore and learn the organization's culture.

Every organization is unique. For your career, it is often as important "where you do what you do" as it is "what you do." Find our your organization's values, its "real" expectations, and its social and work norms.

  Ask to attend meetings and events.

You will learn how work really gets accomplished. Also, see if you can interact directly with the people your organizations serves, including its students, clients, customers, and patients.

  Follow through on work commitments and deliver what you have promised.

You do have to prove yourself when you are new. Therefore, seek out opportunities to "show your stuff."

  Do not burn any bridges.

You never know when you will encounter someone later in your career. Moreover, keep in mind that your co-workers and supervisors constitute the foundation of your professional network. Some of them you will need to write evaluations and letters of recommendation for future professional applications.

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