Many people look for a great internship, but few learn how to master their time and perform excellently as an intern.
I learned this the hard way.
We all know that the purpose of an internship is to gain insight into a field or industry. Yet, interns often find themselves doing menial tasks. For me, I’ve often felt as though my time was not my own. This lack of control can be demotivating at times because it can make you feel unproductive. After many years of being an intern, however, I have learned to appreciate the value that each moment adds to my personal development. I’ve also learned more tips, and in this article, I will share with you the most important lessons to consider.
1. Aim for the perfect start of your day
I’ve learned that it’s important to start the day in the best fashion possible: wake up to pray Fajr, read the adkhar, have a good breakfast and leave your home with good/sincere intentions.
By doing so, you are starting your day in a positive manner that is in accordance with the Sunnah. Hence, you are attracting the barakah forces your way.
2. Make dua daily
“Dua (supplication) is worship.” [Abu Dawud]
When starting anything in life, we should always turn to Allah to ask for His guidance and help in ensuring we get the best out of what we’re doing.
So, make a habit of pleading for Divine assistance in obtaining optimum benefits from the experiences that lie ahead. Starting off with Allah in your mind and heart is the key to success.
3. Remember success shouldn’t come at the expense of Salah
Compromising salah for worldly accomplishments is a great recipe for spiritual suicide.
It’s very important to plan your day around Salah, and not compromise salah for your seemingly crammed schedule.
Even when you’re busy, always plan for your salah and take the necessary means to ensure you’re able to perform it on time.
Chasing academic/professional success can be stressful and sometimes demotivating. So, guarding your Salah takes care of your day by providing a focus on a greater purpose. This focus strengthens your will, and it ultimately helps you stay driven and focused on the goals you need to achieve.
I often find that by ensuring I pray on time, I am not easily distracted from the tasks at hand and this results in a more productive experience daily.
4. Take a book/podcast
One of my biggest tips is to prepare for times when you are not working.
So, have something to read or a beneficial podcast to listen to. This could be related to what you are pursuing or anything of interest. The free time can often add up to hours over the week and can be used in a much more productive fashion if you prepare for it in advance. When I started to utilize this time, I realized that I was learning even more than my co-workers simply because I was mindful of the time I had available. You can also split your free time between reading a book, and reading the Qur’an!
5. Be mindful of every minute you spend
If a supervisor or colleague is busy doing a task you have never done before, ask if you can watch. Though it might not be specific to your own objectives, getting the most out of your time as an intern is important when trying to be productive.
Your time as an intern may be limited and the opportunity of learning from those in the field is valuable, unique and should be adequately invested.
Remember that you are in your internship for a reason: to learn. So, if you finish your assigned task early or if you are not busy, ask for something to do. Sitting idly is not something that will benefit you, especially not when you are giving away precious moments to learn something new.
Push yourself to the forefront and get yourself involved in as much as possible.
6. Be the early bird
Be reliable and come in at the time requested. Not only will this help in maintaining a healthy routine for you, it is also important to show those you are working with that you are committed. This will help open other doors of opportunities for in the long run. If you are behind on work, come in even earlier to add in the time you need to hit deadlines.
If you are behind on work, come even earlier to add in the time you need to hit deadlines.
7. Be a list maker
If there are particular tasks you need to complete, activities you want to see or tasks to be done, make a to-do list for the day. Going in without a plan will leave you feeling lost, overwhelmed or confused.
8. Be proactive
Speak to your colleagues and let them know you have certain tasks you need to get done for that day as they may have some pointers on how to help you get them done. If there are work-based assessments or forms that you require others to give feedback on, speak to them early on so they are aware you require this from them. This will help you ensure they have the time to complete this for you for what you need it.
If there are work-based assessments or forms that you require others to give feedback on, speak to them early on so they are aware you need this from them. This will help you ensure they complete this for you on time.
9. Eliminate distractions
Do not let your phone, colleagues or lunch menu distract you. This will make completing tasks difficult and will only lead to bad habits in the long run. Make sure your phone is switched off, save the conversation with your colleagues for your break and ensure you are eating a balanced, nutritious meal for breakfast to keep you going for longer.
Also, keep some snacks handy to save you from your rumbling belly.
Overall, as Muslims, anything we do should be done with Ihsan (excellence) to the best of our ability without slacking. Not only will this give you the most out of your experience, but it will create a positive, lasting impression of Muslims in the workplace.
How did you manage your internship? What productive tips do you have to add to our discussion? Please share your comments with us below.