Making the Most of Your Internship

Elder Dallin H. Oaks said in his address at the opening ceremony of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, "Your goal should be to get understanding, not to get done." Remember, your internship is to help you learn and understand. Use these basic guidelines throughout your internship to maximize your learning experience.

  • Ask questions. Use your resources to find answers you need and then ask about what you still don't understand. Also, ask your co-workers about themselves. How did they get where they are? What do they like about their work? What would they have done differently? What advice would they give you?

  • Seek feedback. Find out what you're doing well so you can keep doing it, and where you can improve. Don't fear or resent criticism, but rather learn from it. For tips on receiving in-depth performance feedback, click here.

  • Stay positive. Always do your best work, no matter how small the assignment is (think quality, not quantity). Doing so may earn you more responsibilities and strong references for your next job. Not to mention people will enjoy being around you more. 

  • Reflect. Take time to think what you're learning--about your organization, the field, and yourself. What matches your expectations? What surprises you? How does that influence what you want to do? Use this opportunity to gain new insights about yourself, your goals, and the real world. 

  • Take initiative. Be perceptive and offer help, especially when your work is slow.

  • Show respect. Be kind and considerate to everyone in the office, not just the most influential people. Value each person's contributions.

  • Network. Focus on building relationships with your supervisor, colleagues, and others you meet. Then keep in touch afterward.

  • Show gratitude. A sincere thank you goes a long way. Show your appreciation throughout your internship experience as well as at the end.