Finish your internship with a challenge


You could be a happy intern after completing a big challenge

As our internships are winding down, I think it’s important to begin thinking about big projects to undertake. This project can be something visual and obvious, or more internal. Either way it should be something that will impress your boss and company.

That is the obvious reason behind undergoing a big task at the end of the internship, because it is one last chance to make a lasting impact. A final moment to ensure they understand the kind of work ethic you would bring if they hired you. If you want to work for the company you are with, timing this so it is finished right when you have a frank conversation with your boss about sticking around could do wonders.

And if even if you don’t want to stay with the company, one last project can give you a nice portfolio piece. Others will take notice of the fact that the company trusted you to take on something many would think beyond an intern. Plus, the references and recommendations will be much better, as they can talk about your drive and willingness to go beyond the mundane.

If your company doesn’t seem like the kind of place to allow you to take on something big by yourself, ask one of your coworkers if you can shadow and assist them in their project. This adds an element of work shadowing to our internships.

This is the route I have taken. I have been working as the second reporter alongside a veteran writer, helping him conduct interviews, research and write for an upcoming four-part series. This has been great because I have been able to pick up a lot of advice from him as we work. It also removes some of the pressure working alongside another person.

I am glad I have gotten to work on this story because it feels like my internship has culminated in something. Whether or not it turns into a job.

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9 Responses to Finish your internship with a challenge

  1. You’re absolutely right. Taking on difficult tasks will not only impress those around you but also help you gain new valuable skills. It definitely can be challenging to get those tasks asked of you but once they trust you that will go a long way. That is very cool you have had the opportunity to help the established writers. Good work.

  2. horsttyler says:

    I think it’s great that you’re going out of your way to shadow some of the experienced individuals within your work workplace. The best way to learn, I believe, is through hands-on experience and observing others who have more experience than you. I also agree that this can be a great way to impress your boss or supervisor. It shows that you’re willing to learn and interested in becoming a asset to the team

  3. andrewbantly says:

    Way to be, Chris! I’m too in the middle of a big project that I think (or maybe not) have told you about, personally. I’m excited to see what you end up producing!

  4. pdxsx says:

    Smart move to shadow a colleague! Very strategic move.

  5. alliejhardy says:

    Great idea to shadow someone higher up! Not only does that allow you to gain more experience of daily projects, but it also allows you to make connections with someone who might advocate to keep you on after your internship. Nice work!

  6. sydneyandree says:

    Great advice! At the end of one of my past internships I offered to hold a social media workshop for anyone who felt like they needed to learn more about it. It was super easy to execute but was also very beneficial to my older supervisors. Always feels good to end an internship on a great note!

  7. sydneyandree says:

    Also loving the picture of the happy intern!

  8. Great advice, Chris! This mirrors one of the biggest pieces of advice I got from my supervisors so far – to be willing to get out of your comfort zone and be willing to take risks with big projects. When you initiate your own big project, companies notice and love it. Keep rocking!

  9. delaneyryan10 says:

    Love the advice! I think for a lot of us, it is so difficult to be given a big project so using strategy like you described can really help. Ending the internship with a big project is a great way to bring the process full circle and possibly continue on with the employer full time. Nice post!


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