2 May 2024

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Internship

Alt Text!

The sun’s out! Well, sorta kinda. But with two months of summer fun around the corner, why not take on a summer internship?

If you’ve managed to land some work experience for the summer, good for you. It’s a fantastic opportunity to sharpen your skills, gain an insight into the working world and will look really damn good on your CV. It’ll also come in handy when it comes to looking for a placement or graduate scheme.

We want to ensure you get everything you need from your experience, so here are a few tips and tricks to help you make the most of your summer internship.

1. Make a good first impression

Before you think about anything else, you want to make sure to come out the gate swinging.

First impressions are lasting. No one’s asking you to walk in with fanfare and presents to give everyone, but you want people to think fondly of you when they hear your name.

Making a good first impression is all about being your authentic self, asking questions, arriving 5 minutes early, being friendly with your colleagues and managers, and having a “can-do” attitude.

This can go a long way. If your summer job regularly looks for interns or placement students, you could be fast-tracked to a position if you work hard enough.

Not secured a summer internship yet? That’s okay. There are loads of internships still available. Click below to get started.

2. Establish professional connections with your colleagues


Your summer internship is the perfect opportunity to get to know your colleagues. If you’re working in a role that’s directly related to the industry you want to get into, this is invaluable. Why?

  • They are industry experts with knowledge that’ll put Tony Stark out of business
  • These are the people who will vouch for you when it comes to finding a placement or internship by being a reference.

Remember that your colleagues are still people, so seeing them as just a leg up in the career world is wild. Get to know them!

It’s also really nice to have people to talk to at work. People are much more willing to help out genuine people who aren’t just looking for their next big break.

3. Do everything and develop new skills

The best way to learn is to get involved in projects and do everything you can. Summer internships are temporary, so it’s up to you to make sure that you experience everything.

Summer can be a very fun time in the workplace, so expect lots of BBQs or even a summer party. And attend them all.

Naturally, you’ll develop and pick up loads of soft skills which can be used in every career. These include;

  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Computer skills
  • Communication
  • Attention to detail.

Is there a particular task you don’t do that you’d like to try? Ask to get involved. Ask for more training where possible. Your summer internship is your opportunity to develop a truckload of industry-relevant hard skills, especially if it directly relates to your dream career.

You’ve probably heard 1001 tales about soft and hard skills, but what are they? Find out how to use and develop these below.

“Through getting firsthand experience in doing legal work, I learned how to draft documents according to term sheets, gained an understanding of technical concepts such as securitisation and legal research. On top of work-related skills, I also developed soft skills such as teamwork and networking.”

Vacation Scheme Participant, Latham & Watkins

4. Set goals and actions for yourself

This is probably one of the most important. Whether you’ve already started or are yet to, think about what you want from your summer internship.

  • Are you looking to develop and pick up new skills?
  • Do you want to get involved in a certain aspect of the role?
  • Keen to get involved in a bit of the company culture?
  • Do you just want to work hard, secure the bag and save your earnings?

Whatever your goals are, write them down and look to achieve them. Your one-to-ones with your manager and team leader is a great opportunity to discuss these goals – they’d love to see you take initiative and admire your drive. They will 100% help you achieve your goals.

Still haven’t decided whether you want to do a summer internship? Here are some amazing reasons why you should.

5. Ask for feedback

Feedback is, hands down, the best way to improve.

Asking for feedback shows that you care about your job and your self-improvement, and employers really like that. It’s also a great way to track your goals and reevaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

Although you’ll likely discuss feedback with your manager, there’s nothing wrong with asking the colleagues you work with the closest to for feedback. Sometimes, you’ll be offered feedback during tasks or projects—accept it and take it on board.

You’ll notice improvements very quickly.

“My managers always gave me support and advice specifically related to the work I was carrying out. I was also assigned a mentor and a buddy. My mentor helped greatly with my log book, which I had to complete during my placement, and my buddy helped introduce me to the company and help me settle down within the company.”

MBDA Summer Placement

Don’t forget to take the time to enjoy your summer

Ever heard of the saying “work hard, play hard”? Well, it’s true.

While getting work experience is important, so is enjoying your summer break.

So make sure to make time for your family and friends, take a holiday (you’ll 100% have entitlement, even if you’re working for a short period) and do all the things that make you happy.

If you haven’t managed to secure a summer internship for yourself, why not join an insight day? They’re short work experience programmes that typically last between 1-10 days, during which you’ll find out what it’s like to work for a particular company.

All in all, a summer internship is the way to go, and we wish you luck!