Preparing for Summer Internships

2014-06-22 11.26.12

As final exams wrap up and the end of the semester approaches, warm weather and trips to the beach are on a lot of college students’ minds. However, for many actuarial students like myself who are sophomores or juniors this year, summer also means working at a job or internship. Before starting on the job, there are some things college students can do to prepare for joining the working world for a few months in order to do their best this summer and make a good impression on their employers.

First, review the job description and your notes from your interviews. If you took good notes, you should have a decent amount of information about what you will be doing over the summer. Think about how you can improve the skills that will be used in the upcoming weeks. For example, if your job description mentions using Excel a lot on the job, spend a few hours brushing up on your Excel skills and re-familiarizing yourself with the software so that you are ready to go when the job starts, especially if you have not needed to use Excel in classes this semester.

Another thing you can do is research more into the company where you are working. Make sure you are familiar with the corporate structure and the positions of the employees you will be working with.  Most likely you looked into these things when preparing for your interview, but re-familiarizing yourself with the company in the days before you start will make your first few days more comfortable.

Along these lines, make sure you are also familiar with the industry in which you will be working. Catch up on the latest news and trends. For those who will be working in the insurance industry, there is a wealth of white papers and industry publications that have useful information freely available online. There is no need to try and read everything you can find completely, but having up-to-date knowledge on the industry you are working in is always an advantage.

Finally, make sure to take some time for yourself before you start working to relax after finals.  Finals are hard, and the last few weeks of the semester are always stress and work-filled. It is important to be refreshed when you start your first day of work at your internship, so make sure that, if you have the chance, you take some time to unwind after you are finished with your exams.