Though they only last for a limited time, summer jobs and internships are the perfect way to build your professional experience and put your networking skills to use. Check out our top tips to help you make the most of your summer gig and deliver a #NextLevel performance from day one!
Make the Most of Your Time
While some parts of summer seem to last forever, summer jobs and internships go by quickly! To make the most of your time, work with your supervisor to create a 30-60-90 plan to outline what you should have accomplished after 30, 60 and 90 days on the job. If you have a job that’s part of a bigger team, ask your supervisor if there are shift, department or staff goals you can work towards during your time there.
Also, ask your supervisor if there are any smaller assignments you can own from start to finish during your summer employment. Including a project you saw through from end-to-end on your resume will definitely take it to the #NextLevel! If there isn’t a project you can own, ask if you can meet with your manager regularly to see another area of the business outside of your daily duties. When you show this type of interest and initiative, managers will often be willing to get creative to help you gain more experience!
Build Your Network
If your job or internship is in an office environment, use that as an opportunity to expand your network. During your onboarding, ask your supervisor to recommend some employees you should meet with based on your personal career aspirations. If given some contacts, reach out to them directly! Introduce yourself and your role and ask if you can schedule a brief (20-30 minute) meeting to learn more about them, their role and their perspective on the company or field.
Seek Regular Feedback
Receiving feedback well is a critical skill for successful professionals. If your job or internship isn’t set up for you to receive regular feedback, ask your supervisor if you can schedule regular feedback check-ins. During these check-ins, come with a list of what you worked on since your last meeting and what you’re planning to work on next. This will help your supervisor focus the conversation and provide the most meaningful feedback on your work.
At the end of your job or internship, ask your supervisor for a formal performance review that includes feedback on your strengths and your opportunities. This will give you a taste of the review process many professionals experience and give you helpful information on what your next learning and developmental goals should be.
Follow Through + Follow Up
In your final days on the job, write a summary of your experience that includes what you learned, the key skills you developed and your gratitude for the opportunity. Then, share it with your supervisor! After sharing, ask your supervisor to write a recommendation for you (both in letter format and on LinkedIn) while your work is still fresh in their mind. Your summary will make it even easier for them to include specific information in their recommendation! Aim to have these steps wrapped up before your last day on the job.
After your summer employment ends, don’t forget to stay in touch! Shortly after the new school year starts, follow up with your supervisor to let them know how you’re applying what you learned during your job or internship to your school and DECA work. Continuing the conversation keeps your relationship strong and may even lead to a more advanced role with them next summer.
Best of luck with your summer job or internship!