Making the Most Out of Your Summer Internship

By Ingle International 
summer internship, three young people sitting around table laughing
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Ah, summer. The season you’ve been waiting for all year! But remember, if you’re about to start an internship, ‘party’ season won’t be all fun and games this year. You’ll have to work hard to make a positive and lasting impression. Read on to learn how you can make the most out of your summer internship.

1. Create a budget! 

Although you might be interning at your dream job, the reality is that you’re working for very little money. Or perhaps even for free! You still need to eat, pay rent, and have fun this summer, and everything costs money! Making a budget beforehand will allow you to focus on your internship rather than frantically searching your pocket for change to pay for your lunch.

2. Remember work is different than school.

Completing an internship might be something you’re doing for your program at school, but don’t forget that it’s still the real world! You won’t have the freedom to ask for extensions or show up late. Missing a deadline will not only affect your work but the work of the people around you. Remember that they are relying on the work you do, so if you are late to get your work in, it may have a domino effect. Yes, you may be at the bottom of the pyramid, but you don’t always plan to be! So treat your internship as if it were your career. Who knows? You might be asked to work there one day.

3. Make an impression.

You might be one of the dozens interning at your company this summer, or one of countless from summers past. The bottom line is, if you don’t stand out, you’ll be known all summer as “the intern.” So what do you do to make yourself seen and heard?  It’s easy! Be punctual, proactive, and ask lots of questions. Trying your best will make a difference and get you noticed by your potential future employers.

4. Network with co-workers.

Building your professional network is important and will definitely come in handy once you’ve graduated! Take advantage of your current situation — start with your co-workers. Add them on Linkedin, but don’t stop there! Make sure to attend both after-work events and informal get-togethers. This will help them get to know you as a person and will be a major plus when you’re looking to turn your internship into a real job within the company. Or even if you’re simply looking for a letter of reference!

5. Collect reference letters.

A letter of reference can go a long way when applying for a post-graduate program or a future job. A reference letter will not only give future employers an idea of the type of worker you are, it will also let them know which qualifications you possess and, in the case of a glowing letter written by a past employer, it will help explain why you are better for this position than the other five, ten, or fifty(!) applicants.  

6. Keep in touch.

Maintaining professional relationships will prove extremely important down the line. Ensuring you get a good reference can be as simple as sending a card or email to your manager, thanking him or her for the opportunity to intern at such a great company! Including a few notes about what you learned or how you improved will be handy for your manager to refer to when a potential employer asks about your abilities in the future.

Starting something new is always a bit scary, but following these simple steps means making the most of your summer internship. Work hard, be serious, but don’t forget to have fun! 

This article, written by Fahima Gibrel, is provided by Ingle International, specializing in travel insurance since 1946.  Ingle International has partnered with Studentawards to provide students with the best travel health solutions for their overseas adventures. For more information, visit our partner site at