If you're going to do an internship, or anything else for that matter, you might as well do it right -- there's more competition out there than ever, and every minute, every experience, counts. After all, it isn't just students who are doing internships these days -- but graduates who need more professional experience under their belts. And seasoned professionals who want to change careers are also going the internship route. That's a lot of competition.
Interning also has become so much more than just learning how to do a particular job. Many workers are now turning to internships to get the hands-on experience that they need, but also to make contacts among those who can help them get to the next level in their professional lives.
Will Sprayberry is one savvy worker who, while a student at SAE Instititute, where he studied creative media, interned at Doppler Studios. He not only interned like a rock star, but because of it, got to work with rock stars. The hands-on experience he enjoyed during his internship lead to working with celebrities including Ludacris, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Akon and Nelly.
How did he do that? Sprayberry offers the following tips:
1. Persistence pays off.
When looking for an internship, research positions that best suit your goals and apply early; this will show your punctuality and eagerness to learn. Keep in mind when applying, a "no" today does not necessarily mean "no" next month.
2. A schedule is a guideline.
While you may only be assigned to work certain hours, make it clear you're willing to come in early or stay late whenever needed. Make it evident your internship is your number one priority.
3. Dress to impress.
Take care to dress professionally. Dress for the position you want, not the position you have. This is a sure way to stand out, and make others take notice.
4. Be flexible.
As an intern, your technical abilities are important but so is your willingness to do everything else. Whether it's picking up coffee, mopping the floor or making copies, you should be willing to do it. Hard work isn't always glamorous, but it pays off.
5. Network, network, network.
Develop a solid professional relationship with your advisers during you internship. Use them as mentors and pick their brains about the industry you're interested in. When your internship ends, make sure to request a recommendation and make an effort to keep in touch with any connections you make.
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