Last week, Nova Recruitment and Connect by Nova had the opportunity to host two year-10 students from Cayman Prep for a work experience internship.
The purpose of doing work experience or a similar type of internship is so that students can have an opportunity to gain real-world experience and gain perspective to help them define longer-term career goals. At the end of their work experience tenure, Raven and Culainn, our in-house interns for the week, took the time to put into words their top tips for any other students doing work experience, internships, or apprenticeships to make the most of the experience.
A Strong Work Ethic Goes A Long Way
The first tip that we would give to anyone in an internship or going through any type of work experience would be to have a positive and eager attitude as well as exercising a good work ethic. A strong work ethic will set you apart from the rest of the pack, showing that you are eager to complete tasks diligently and to a good standard, which in most positions can be a determining factor for long-term career success.
In the case of internships and work experience, showing a strong work ethic can lead to references you can call back on when looking for future employment, which when you are just starting your career can be crucial, especially in a smaller employment market like here in Cayman.
Get a Feel for Company Culture
It will be a rare opportunity to be in a work environment before your first ‘real’ job, so take your internship seriously and learn from it. Take advantage of this opportunity and get a feel for the company culture and think about what you enjoy or dislike about it to make more informed decisions about your career moving forward.
Make Lasting Relationships
By treating your internship as more than just something temporary, you will be more likely to make long-lasting connections and leverage your experience. If you do this successfully, you could find yourself a longer-term career mentor or referee to call upon, and in a couple of years, with a bit of luck, the same company could be employing you.
Finally, ask questions, not only about the work but also about the company – do some research before your internship begins; this creates an amiable first impression. And if you don’t know something, just ask questions; it’ll emphasize that you are interested and keen to learn something valuable from your internship.