8 Tips for a Successful Internship
You’ve finally received word that you’ve scored an internship site — a process that’s taken tremendous amounts of work and effort. Though it’s taken years to get here, your internship year will fly by. Below, experts provide their insight on making the most of your time.
1. Take the initiative to learn as much as you can.
“Take the initiative to seek out training opportunities” at your internship site, said Gregory T. Eells, Ph.D, associate director of Gannett Health Services and director of Counseling & Psychological Services at Cornell University.
These are “really your last opportunities to be a trainee,” he said. Even if you do a post-doctoral fellowship, you’ll be treated like a staff member, not a trainee, he added. “Don’t just do the minimum training requirements.”
2. Plan out the year.
Still, because you only have a year, be selective in the choices you make, according to Carol Williams-Nickelson, PsyD, former associate executive director of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students and co-editor of Internships in Psychology: The APAGS Workbook for Writing Successful Applications and Finding the Right Fit.
Sit down with your training director to discuss the various opportunities available and which ones are mandatory and which ones you’d like to take advantage of, she said. Basically, you want to “plot your course for the year.” This is also helpful to avoid burn-out and to accomplish all your goals.
3. Be prepared to use all your skills.