Internships are meant for students to gain practical experience and learn more about their careers of interest. But did you know that a number of companies use this period to identify potential employees?
Connie Musisi, the head of Careers at Uganda Christian University, says some students misuse their chances during internship. She observes that many limit themselves to simple tasks and never show their worth to the employers.
“Whenever you enroll for any internship opportunity, give it your best, be willing to take on challenging projects and show the employer that you are competent and can handle any task if given a chance,” she says.
Nicholas Bashaija, a radio presenter at Kaborole Research Center (KRC), says while doing internship, it is important to complete your assignments on time.
“I was hired at KRC radio because I always completed my assignments on time. Whenever I would foresee a challenge with a deadline on a project I am working on, I would notify my supervisor and ask for any input they might provide,” he says.
Seek more responsibility
Additionally, Bashaija says, he always asked for more assignments. He observes that though interns are assigned less work than full-time employees, he would always ask for more assignments which made his boss gain confidence in him.
“Asking for work shows that you can assume the responsibilities of a fulltime employee. Also, employers want workers who take initiative in the workplace rather than those who want to be pushed,” he observes.
When Emily Natukunda was offered internship at Daj Communications, she proposed to her immediate supervisor that the company needed functional social media platforms.
She offered to run certain pages such as Facebook and Twitter such that there was more customer engagement. Fortunately, her idea was bought and she was offered the chance to run these pages as a fulltime employee. “I was so fortunate that I was taken on and I’m currently the company’s social media specialist,” she says.
According to Lucy Asiimwe, a human resource manager at Ministry of Public Service, an intern can offer their insight on problems or fill that need within the company.
“Employers seek people who can think outside the box and identify solutions to current problems that management may not have identified. Be prepared to offer solutions that you think might work to solve a specific problem or situation,” she says.
Relate well with your boss
Asiimwe advises students on internship to keep supervisors updated with their work and accomplishments by checking in frequently and making sure they meet expectations.
“Once you have identified your job responsibilities and you understand your supervisor’s expectations, work hard to demonstrate your personal initiative and your ability to work both independently and as part of a team,” she advises.