Students: 6 Responsibilities of Interns

An internship is a great opportunity for students or aspiring professionals to get experience in their field and often with the hope of potential employment. An internship is usually set for a fixed time with or without pay. Although the position sometimes doesn’t have many monetary benefits, the general goal of an internship is to build out-of-classroom professional experience, add new relevant competencies and transfer these to your resume. If you are looking for an internship, it’s important that you know exactly how to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity. Here are six key responsibilities of interns that can help you have a successful internship.

1. Learning

What is the key knowledge you look to gain from this internship?  You must go in knowing what is it that you want to learn and how far you want to go. When it comes to knowledge, the sky is the limit. The best way to learn what you need at an internship is to relate what you have learned in the classroom to the actual hands on work you will be doing. Apply key concepts to the work you are doing and think about how this will affect your career in the long run.

Working hard at internship

2. Be Reliable

The most important thing an intern can do is to be reliable. Although you may not be a paid employee of the company or organization you are interning for, it is critical for you to be one of the most reliable individuals present. An internship is viewed as a favorable chance for an undergraduate to get a hands on view of their desired profession that many others do not get. So be on time, alert, productive, and have a positive attitude at all times. If you are lucky, this opportunity could even lead to full-time employment.

3. Do Busy Work

As you may have heard, interns are often the people who turn into personal assistants. However, this does not have the be the case (and definitely should not be the case if you are unpaid!).  As an intern, it is a given that you will do some undesirable busy work. You have to start somewhere to get anywhere. A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t be spending more than twenty percent of your time at as an intern doing busy work (and this is a guideline employers should be following especially if you are unpaid or are getting academic credit for your internship).

4. Take Instructions and Notes

Be sure that you are well rested and alert at all times so that you can properly absorb all of the information that comes at you on a daily basis as an intern. Although you come into the position with no experience, you don’t have to look like it. Keep a notepad handy at all times to jot down instructions given by your superior. Although you might think you will remember, keep notes just so that you won’t have to ask again and look as though you are forgetful or inattentive.

5. Ask Questions

When you are an intern, the only dumb question is the one that was already answered.  It will be common knowledge that you are an intern and need help at first so don’t be afraid to ask questions when things aren’t clear to you. Chances are everyone will be more than happy to help.

6. Network

No amount of time is too short to set up a much needed business connection. Being around your future peers can give you a leg up to establishing a great network of business professionals. Some of these same people may be able to help you further your career goals when your internship is long over.

Looking for an internship in the Rhode Island area?  Visit for a free tool that brings students and employers together. You never know what amazing opportunity awaits!

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Bridge is a program that focuses on connecting employers and students in Rhode Island. The goal of Bridge is to match Rhode Island employers with talented students looking to gain valuable professional experience. Applying knowledge and skills acquired in college to a professional setting is a vital component of a student’s college education. Students who gain relevant internship experience are better prepared for full-time employment after graduation. By hiring interns, employers gain qualified, career-driven young professionals as employees. Student bring with them exposure to cutting edge practices and technology, new insights and philosophies, flexibility and a thirst for knowledge. bRIdge has a particular focus on connecting students and employers from specialized fields such as Business, Science, IT, Technology, Health, Design, Engineering and Manufacturing. The bRIdge website allows employers to post paid or unpaid internships online and directly reach out to a vast and talented pool of students. College students and recent graduates can sign up and start looking for an appropriate professional learning opportunity in minutes. bRIdge is a program of the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) and RISLA’s College Planning Center of Rhode Island. RISLA has joined up with Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island (AICURI), the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education (RIBGHE) and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce to bring together academia, business and community. If you have any questions about this program or if you need any assistance, please feel free to contact us.

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