Tick! Tock! Tick! Tock!…. Summer time is a few weeks away (smile). Congratulations to those of you that managed to secure an internship for this upcoming summer. Forget all the simulation you have been doing in your classes so far, to most first timers, this will an opportunity to get a good feel of what it feels like to do a real actuarial job. Some of you will get to build actuarial models, project income statements, assist in realtime data analysis and some other cool stuff. You have been dreaming of doing this type of work for years! Below are five tips that will help you get the most out of your internship.
Be be prepared to learn.
Any new task brings new challenges. Your internship isn’t going to be an exemption. If you’ve gotten this far in the hiring process, you clearly have met the minimum required skills that your employer was looking for while interviewing different candidates. Whether it is going to be your company’s policies or a new program that you will be using in the course of your internship, there will plenty of new things to take in. Do your best to learn them as quickly as possible, and make sure to do so with effectiveness.
Be very curious.
Last week, as I was going through my informational interview session, I was told, “Curiosity is one of the best tools an intern can bring to my organization.” By curiosity, he meant asking a lot of intelligent questions, having willingness to listen, and following instructions. An internship is by far a learning experience and a chance to put to test what you have been learning in class. Put your curiosity cap on and sail towards the discovery zone. Don’t get stuck for hours on any project assigned to you simply because you are too scared to ask a question.
Ask for feedback.
Whether from your immediate supervisor, coworkers or fellow interns it is always nice to take time and ask for feedback about your performance. By doing so, you will not only be opening up interaction avenues with others people within your team, but also you will be subjecting your performance to constructive criticism. This will help boost your performance to your employers satisfaction.
Go above and beyond.
While completing your assigned duties do more than what is asked of you. Offer your help to others. If possible, be the first one to arrive at the office and the last one to leave. Stick to the deadlines. Double check your work. Proofread your emails before you hit that send button. Organize your work station. Keep a clear and concise schedule of your daily assignments and their due dates. Maintain a positive attitude even when the going gets tough.
Last but not least don’t forget to network. Get to know somebody in a different department, different floor, different line of business, just different! Remember some of the people you will be working with may be your potential future bosses and hiring managers. Do your best to acclimatize yourself with the company culture. This will help you choose how you will approach other employees in the company. Make it your initiative to introduce yourself each time you encounter a new employee or intern. Do so positively and professionally. Become an expert in reading other physical queues in order to be able to tell when to begin and end a conversation.