8 Tips for a Successful Internship

1. Learn the Organizational Culture

Watch, listen, ask questions, and implement what you learn about the organizational culture (both the spoken and unspoken codes of conduct, behavior, and work style).

2. Set Internship Goals

Learn your supervisor's expectations of what you will accomplish during the internship. Set realistic and attainable goals for what you would like to learn and discuss your interests with your supervisor.

You can ask if there are ways to get involved in areas of interest that may not be a direct part of your internship.

3. Be Positive and Ready to Work Hard

Approach everything with enthusiasm and build your reputation as someone who has a “can-do” attitude—work hard, do what needs to be done, and seek out ways to be helpful to those around you.

4. Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on projects and assignments! You are here to learn.

Request meetings with supervisors, executives, and other employees to find out more about what they do and what they have learned in their jobs. This can be an incredible way to learn more about the company, industry, and career field.

If you are uncertain about how to have these conversations or some other aspect of work culture, contact your Luddy Career Services coaches!


5. Take Your Assignments and Deadlines Seriously

Listen carefully to instructions and ask questions so you can create high-quality work. If you have slow days, be proactive and seek out new projects and tasks. Manage your time wisely. If you are unsure of the timeline or a deadline for an
assignment, ask! If you are unable to meet a deadline, let your supervisor know as soon as possible so they are not surprised by a late project.

6. Find a Mentor

Make an effort to meet everyone that you work for and with and build positive relationships with your colleagues, including your fellow interns. Seek out someone who will take an interest in your career development and success and can share their knowledge and insights on career pathways, job-hunting, and other aspects of the job search. Plan to keep in contact with this person even after you leave your internship.

7. Be Flexible

Accept a variety of tasks and assignments if you have the option, and adapt to changes in your internship as they happen.

8. Be Self-Reflective

Take some time to assess what you have learned, how you have grown, and whether you have met your goals. Consider keeping a journal or private blog throughout the experience review how your thoughts and feelings developed over the course of the internship.

Make specific notes about technologies, teams, and projects you experience. What are your duties? This can help you add important details to your resume quickly.


If you have questions, please contact Career Services.

812-856-4903 | luddycareers@indiana.edu