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12 ways to get the most out of work experience

My experience has taught me that job placements and internships are invaluable for everything from making friends and being noticed to actually finding out what you don’t want to do.

However, in order to get the most out of your job experience, you must be proactive. Here are twelve top tips for making the most of your work experience. Find out how to improve your job chances after you’ve graduated from university for more career advice.

Conduct your analysis

Hopefully, you were able to choose your job placement so that you already have an experience in the area you’ll be entering. However, even if you believe you know the industry – and particularly if you don’t – do your homework before you begin.

Understanding the role of those around you will not only allow you to interact with the people you’re learning from, but it will also give you an idea of which aspects of the job most relate to you and the divisions you really want to get involved with. You would be able to properly guide your experience if you have a better understanding of how things function beforehand.

Make an excellent first impression

First impressions are extremely important. Make sure you arrive on time, are appropriately prepared (if in doubt, go smarter), and are ready to go. More opportunities will come your way if you demonstrate that you are polite, trustworthy, and professional from the start.

Meet new people

Smile at everyone you meet and try to introduce yourself to everyone you’ll be interacting with. Don’t be afraid to inquire about people’s jobs and how they got to where they are now – they’ll be flattered!

Be well-organized

Although you will be directed during your internship, you should not presume to be spoon-fed the entire time. Listen closely to guidelines and note down meetings, dates, and timetables to help stay organised.

Participate

It may seem simple, but the more you put yourself out there, the more experience you’ll gain. Be excited about any mission, no matter how big or small, and use your determination to go above and beyond what is expected of you.

Ask question

If you’re not sure what you’re doing, there’s no shame in asking for guidance – in reality, employers will admire your courage in doing so. But be resourceful – think twice before asking a question that a simple Google search might answer.

Make recommendations

Don’t be afraid to speak up if you believe you have something important to say. Employers value creative thinkers, and your input – whether your idea is implemented or not – will be valued.

Offer to assist

When you talk with others, inquire about their current ventures and emphasise your desire to be involved. Showing that you’re approachable and interested will ensure that they think of you when they need assistance.

Make a list

Make a list of any useful insights about specific projects you’ve worked on and skills you’ve learned. That way, you’ll have a record of everything you need to remember from your time there, which will come in handy for potential work applications!

Request feedback

Rather than waiting for a summary at the end, try to collect informal input from your boss as you move along – it gives you a chance to change in your time there and demonstrates that you care that you’re doing a good job.

Consider your job experience

When reflecting on your internship, it is important to be completely frank with yourself. If you didn’t like it, it doesn’t mean it was a total waste of your time.

Be Enthusiastic

You don’t have to do it every day, but bring the ‘kitchen run’ to the team, and they will love you for it,

Conclusion

The aim of work experience is to help you identify an industry or job that interests you. If you walk out thinking you’ve found your dream work or leave hoping you never have to go back, it’s been a valuable experience. Examine the elements you liked and those you didn’t, and then progress from there.

Try not to be too concerned with where you could get work experience and instead concentrate on what you could learn or build on.

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