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Recruiter (and intern) insight: Making the most of your internship

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Bloomberg summer intern, Jerome Smalls, collaborates with Bloomberg recruiters across the globe to gather advice and share insights on how interns can make the most of their summer internship.

It can be overwhelming to learn the company’s culture, excel in your projects and build your network – all while making sure to leave a great impression with your supervisor. Not to mention, also trying to enjoy the summer break from school.

To address some of these concerns, I partnered with Bloomberg recruiters from across the world – Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, United Kingdom and United States – for insight on how interns can position themselves for a successful internship. This list is not all-inclusive, but rather a point of reference. And ultimately, a summer internship is yours to make your own.

Have a positive attitude

As cliché as it may sound, being positive truly goes a long way in the office and your career. You may not always have the right resources or skillsets to complete every task, but you can always have the right attitude. Having enthusiasm for your role and projects shows that you care about the work you’re doing.

Vivian Zhang, recruiter in our Hong Kong office says, “Interns should treat every hurdle as a learning experience, and every challenge as a milestone.” This type of perseverance and mindset can leave a lasting impact on your manager and colleagues.

Build credibility

Let your team know, and show them, what you’re capable of. Princeton office recruiter, Christine Meyer, advises interns to “Recognize the importance of building their reputation and implement strategies to increase credibility with everyone they interact with.”

Meyer adds, “Interns should demonstrate that they are going above and beyond.” This helps to build your reputation as someone who is reliable and produces high-quality work, which may open up opportunities for your manager to trust you with more responsibility.

Take advantage…of everything

Most companies offer special activities and opportunities for their interns. Here at Bloomberg we have mentorship programs, specialized trainings, shadowing opportunities, team building events, Diversity & Inclusion communities, speaker series and a plethora of volunteering outings for interns to take part in.

A lot of planning and thought went into these activities for interns, and it would be a shame to let them go to waste. Not only can they add to your professional development, they also serve as fun ways to connect with others at your company.

Jerome (top right) and the other New York Bloomberg Startup interns had the chance to meet Mike Bloomberg.

Additionally, take advantage of all the opportunities to get real work experience. When you finish a project, don’t be afraid to ask for more responsibility. This goes back to building your credibility. Take that bold step to share with your manager your goals and what you’d like to learn.

It’s this kind of tenacity that leaves recruiters in awe of interns’ talent and dedication to a company that they’ve only worked at for a few weeks.

Establish meaningful relationships

Summer internships provide tremendous opportunity for professional and personal growth, not only from what you’ve achieved and learned from your projects, but also from whom you’ve met.

As interns, we may not immediately know how to put that wisdom into practice, but we don’t have to look far. Something as little as saying “Good morning” to initiate small conversations or introducing yourself while waiting for the elevator can lead to amazing relationships.

Our recruiters also encourage interns to practice other forms of networking such as: scheduling coffee chats, attending company events and shadowing employees outside your department.

Be curious and solicit feedback

A summer internship is a time to be tenacious in learning new things. “As an intern, you should always have an open mind and look for ways to develop yourself,” says Bloomberg São Paulo recruiter, Valkiria Martinez.

Meyer mentions, “Interns need to demonstrate curiosity and ask effective, valuable questions.” So before every meeting, take the time to prepare and think of questions you may want to ask.

And don’t be afraid of receiving feedback, in fact, the end-of-internship evaluation shouldn’t be your first time hearing feedback. Tokyo recruiter, Christine Tai explains, “As an intern, you owe it to yourself to always ask clarifying questions and constantly be searching for areas to improve.”

Have fun

Lastly, enjoy your summer! We’re spending our summer break in a different environment, and for some – in a new city. If your goal is to obtain a full-time job offer from your company, wouldn’t you like to be sure you could see yourself at this company and city after graduation?

Bloomberg recruiters strongly advise interns to take the time to befriend their fellow colleagues and explore the city. Tai reminisces on how she made life-long friends during her own Bloomberg internship six years ago, “These friendships are so strong that we still go on weekend trips together, each other’s weddings and meet up regularly.”

This summer internship may become more rewarding in ways you never thought possible. Take this time to discover what kind of career you want to lead. Discover new interests, a new city, new ways to network and new skills – but most of all…discover yourself.

If you've been inspired by Jerome's story, take a look at Bloomberg's open roles now.