Students are often told to get an internship while pursuing their degree. In some college programs, a professional internship might even be required for graduation. However, if you are going to participate in an internship you should plan to get as much out of it as possible.
The entire point of an internship is to give you practical experience during your training to enter the occupation you have chosen. To this end, you should be learning everything you can about your field and the job you want to do during your internship. Be a hard worker too—future employers value work experience highly and an internship is one of the best ways to gain that experience while still pursuing a degree.
You’ve likely heard it in a million other places, but networking, and learning how to do it most effectively, are simply of critical importance in the working world. You should spend your time during your internship making connections in the industry, both at the company where you are doing the internship and elsewhere. Leverage those connections after you graduate to find employment opportunities, get help when needed and overall become a better professional.
If you are traveling to another city to do your internship, you should pack light and only take what is necessary. Extra stuff will bog you down and distract you from what you are really there to do. If needed, you can rent a storage unit. Remember that you will only be there temporarily, although it is possible you may fall in love with the new city or work opportunities may lead you to remain there.
Be sure to cultivate good relationships with your supervisors at the internship and then ask if you can use them for professional references when your time there is up. Professional references help you land jobs, and supervisors from relevant positions will lend the most weight to future job applications. Be sure to keep in touch with any mentors you may have worked with during your internship as well.
A professional internship is an exciting opportunity and you should not waste it. They are often difficult to come by so you should plan to make the most out of every minute. The things you learn and the people you meet at your internship are likely to shape your career path going forward.