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.