How to Get the Most Out of Your Internship: Expert Advice

Updated February 2023

An internship is your chance to apply what you’ve learned in your training to a real-world setting. You get to build a network of industry contacts and add something substantial to your resume.

It’s not unusual for internships to lead to full-time job offers, so you definitely want to put your best foot forward.

But what can you do to maximize your chance of success?

To find out, we gathered tips and advice from people in the know: instructors, career services specialists, and former students.

Read on to discover how you can get the most out of your internship experience.


Colleges that provide internships for their students have relationships with local employers and a network of potential work placement sponsors. The roster may include companies with different specialties and areas of focus.

At Herzing, we work with you to try to find an internship that matches your specific interests. So don’t be afraid to speak up and let your instructor or counsellor know what area you’d like to concentrate on.

Graphic design graduate Ben DeBlois says he had a clear vision for where he wanted to go—and stuck to it.

“I knew that I wanted to intern in an office setting and as such, refused the first few offers as they didn’t meet my personal criteria.

I think it’s important to self-advocate to make sure you’re the right fit for anything you pursue in your life. After about two weeks, the Herzing career counsellor found a suitable graphic design internship at a company called The Art Of.

I spent the time producing content for their website and social media posts as well as some other office work. It was a great experience and foray into a professional office environment.”



Being too set on a certain path can also be detrimental. It’s great to have an idea of what you want to do, but sometimes your dream opportunity just isn’t available.

And there’s value in exploring other aspects of your field, even if you initially feel they aren’t for you. You may discover an interest or passion you didn’t know you had.

When Amanda Gauthier began her community services worker program, she wanted to specialize in addictions. But early on, her class was told they might need to be flexible.

“I remember Bryan [the instructor] telling us that everybody comes in here with an idea of what their internship looks like, but sometimes you have to take what’s there to gain your experience.

He said a lot of times people come back and say wow, I’m so glad I took that internship.”

That proved to be the case for Amanda. She was offered an internship at a group home for at-risk youth, and while she wasn’t sure that was where she wanted to be, she ended up enjoying the experience immensely.

“From the first day I walked in there I really felt like I was part of the staff team. And I grew so much into that role, I loved it. I remember coming home within that first week and telling my husband I absolutely love, love this internship.”



Stepping into a real-world role can be intimidating. It’s important to remember that your training has given you a solid foundation of skills.

You have abilities the company can benefit from, and you deserve to be where you are. So don’t let anxiety keep you from making the most of your internship opportunity.

Having faith in your own skills will also help your sponsor feel more comfortable trusting you with new and more challenging tasks.



The whole point of an internship is to give you a chance to apply your skills and get a sense of what working in the field is really like.

You're learning, but you also need to perform. So you shouldn’t expect to have your hand held, as graphic design graduate Vince Arnone points out:

“I did my internship at Wild on Media. They specialize in outdoor advertising and interactive marketing experiences.

I was making mockups of their ads. Often, we would get a project without a lot of clear direction, so I had to adapt and think on the fly.

The experience made me more self-reliant, and more independent as a designer and problem solver.”

Herzing career development director Caroline Glowatski says going above and beyond is an excellent way to make a good impression.

“Listen carefully to all instructions and take notes so that you do not need constant reinforcement from the employer. Offer to do more than is asked of you, take initiative. Employers will see this as a positive to take with you into your career in the field.”



Don’t be afraid to ask for constructive feedback as your internship progresses. Find out what you’re doing well and what you could be doing better, and then try to act on those suggestions.

It can be tempting to just wait and see what your sponsor puts on your internship evaluation form. But if you can get early feedback and show that you’re able to adjust your behaviour, you’ll make a much better overall impression.

And those final evaluations can be critical in landing a job, says Nancy Scott. She teaches the Health Care Aide program at Herzing.

“The number one thing employers want to see? Your clinical evaluation form. They want to know how well you performed on the eight-week practicum. Even beyond your grades for classroom work, your practicum evaluation is crucial for landing a great first job.

Students who show motivation, critical thinking skills, and compassionate client care will get top marks, and top jobs.”



At Herzing, the vast majority of our programs include internships. We strive to get you into a work setting that suits your training as well as your interests.

By the time you graduate, you’ll have valuable hands-on experience in your chosen field.

Many of our students even get hired directly from their internships.

Click below to explore our programs and find the path that’s right for you.

Explore Herzing College Programs

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