Four tips on getting the most out of your internship

With more than 85 per cent of Bachelor-degree-holding Australians employed in 2023, there is no doubt that a qualification provides a strong foundation for employability. However, with more than 37 per cent of university students now participating in formal work integrated learning experiences, it is becoming increasingly competitive for students to cement a position within their industry of qualification and interest.

Traditionally, internships were a great tool for students to show their determination and proactivity in finding graduate work while simultaneously validating their career aspirations. Now, as internships are increasingly embedded into degrees for university credit, internships are common, and students must understand how to best leverage their experience to stand out and find the most value.

Here are four things to consider to get the most value out of your internship.

1. Set goals at the internship outset

Before embarking on your internship journey, consider what you want to gain from the experience and what you wish to achieve.

It is important to share these goals with your internship manager to ensure they are realistic, and you are fully supported. Goal setting with your internship organisation also provides an opportunity to set the agenda for your program and share your ambitions. Throughout your internship, reflect on your goals and note how they are being addressed. Reflection will ensure your work is purposeful and provide clarity on your achievements at the end of the program.

2. Always ask questions

The term no such thing as a silly question, really shines true in an internship.

An integral part to attaining the most from an internship, is understanding how the knowledge gained at university can be applied in a real-life setting. Questions are expected from students.

Questions can enable you to acquire knowledge, eliminate confusion, guide conversation, show interest, solve problems, indicate understanding, and so much more.

No matter if you are fresh out of university or have been in the industry for 20 years, a good consultant is always learning and asking questions.

3. Lean into emerging practice areas and technologies

There is a real opportunity for students to bring new information and skills to the established industry.

A sure way to stand out among interns and reciprocate value to an organisation, is through sharing the latest studies and digital skills you have learnt or gained.

Knowledge transfer shows your intelligence and/or ability, understanding of emerging trends and willingness to contribute to a team environment.

4. Stay connected after the internship

Industry connections are one of the most valuable internship program outcomes.

Completion of an internship should not be goodbye to the organisation and its staff, but rather, the foundation for building strong industry connections.

Relationships can open the door to future opportunities including collaborations, exchange of ideas, mentorship, and knowledge sharing.

Remain in contact and continue to learn from the organisation by following and engaging with them on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, X, and Instagram, and connect with relevant people on LinkedIn, to grow your network, share in the conversation, and remain visible.

Consider an internship with Phillips Group

At Phillips Group, we love to partner with students to bring their interests, skills and curiosities to life through a tailored work experience program where they can learn from industry leaders.

We focus on mentoring, fostering industry connections and introducing students to the people, the work and the necessary skills to be successful in the communication industry.

Apply now!

If you are a high-performing student that wants to learn from the best – we want to hear from you. Visit our Internship Program page to find out more.