Lessons learned from your summer internship

If you were fortunate enough to land a summer internship, someone is likely to ask what you learned.
There are lots of lessons to be learned from a summer internship – life lessons and career lessons are just two of them. So, when you are hit with that question, what’s your answer?   

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Lessons learned from your summer internship

19 Oct 2017

Lessons learned from your summer internship

If you were fortunate enough to land a summer internship, someone is likely to ask what you learned.
There are lots of lessons to be learned from a summer internship – life lessons and career lessons are just two of them. So, when you are hit with that question, what’s your answer? 

Redstone Federal Credit Union hired 25 interns this summer for positions throughout the Credit Union. We talked with two of them to learn how they would answer that question.

D’Ahra Hinton worked with the Business Market Development team during her internship here. D’Ahra said the internship improved her communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal.

“I am clearer and more professional with my word choices now. I’ve also learned how to make my body language work with me in communicating effectively,’’ said D’Ahra.

“Redstone teaches you many things, but most of all, working here teaches you time management, self-control and confidence.’’

Sarah Burch was hired as a summer graphic designer in the Marketing Department.

Sarah’s lessons had more of a career tilt to them. She wants to be a professional graphic designer, so working on marketing campaigns was perfect for her.

“Through this internship, I’ve learned a great deal about branding campaigns. I’ve also learned how to produce animations using two separate methods this summer. I’m excited to use this knowledge in future school assignments,’’ Sarah said.

Sarah is a senior at Athens State University. D’Ahra is a sophomore at the University of South Alabama, majoring in biomedical science.  

Still having trouble answering the question: “What did you learn from your summer internship?’’

If so, consider this short list of career and life lessons you should have mastered:

  • Be Punctual. Be on time and manage your time wisely. Get to work on time. Complete projects on time or earlier.
  • Adopt new skills and be eager to take on new assignments. You didn’t work so hard to get that internship to sit around and twiddle your thumbs. At the end of summer, you want to leave with an expanded skill set.

D’Ahra said she was a pro at Excel spreadsheets when she left. Her spreadsheets are now  “simple to understand and aesthetically pleasing.’’

Sarah developed her skills in designing campaigns for digital media.   

  • Connect with people. Network, network, network. Talk to people throughout the organization regardless of their job title. Many seasoned employees are all too willing to share their industry knowledge with you. Keep in touch with your mentors after you leave and let them know you appreciate their help.
  • Ask for feedback. Have weekly or bi-monthly meetings with your supervisor. Find out how you are doing, how you can improve and what new tasks you can take on.
  • Don’t overshare. Just don’t do it…in person or on social media. Your co-workers shouldn’t know about every argument you and your boyfriend/girlfriend has had or see you on social media doing things that could give the company a black eye.

Summer is nearly over and college classes are about to restart. Hopefully, you’ve got a journal full of lessons you’ve learned and are ready to put them into practice.

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