An internship is an excellent opportunity to learn essential skills. Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) students can set themselves up for success with wise advice from program graduates who have been through the process before.

Hear from Radhika Tandon, a GBBA fourth-year student. Radhika’s first internship was at SPRIM Global as a Digital Marketer. Since then, she has completed international internships with a digital marketing focus and is currently an intern at L’Oréal.

Janice Liu graduated in 2021 and now works at Unilever after completing internships at Dior and L’Oréal. Siyi Chen is a fourth-year GBBA student who has completed competitive internships at investment banking organizations.

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up

While at Your-Comics, Radhika shared her suggestions for the organization’s international business expansion.

Her manager was impressed by her insights and gave her ownership over global marketing and communications projects.

“I realized that expressing your ideas and point of view is crucial, no matter how bizarre they may be.”

Janice believes having a curious mindset and taking initiative can help you stand out. She explains that although it might feel strange initially to reach out to others and initiative, it will pay off in the long run.

“I think what will make an intern really good at what they do is… [being] curious and also [to] initiate.”

Learn New Skills

Learning new skills is imperative to all successful internships. The students we interviewed all credited new skills for their successes. When talking about the new skills she learned, Radhika claims the new skills she learned through challenges were instrumental to her success.

She said, “[It] taught me to be constantly innovative, challenge myself… and work effectively in a planned manner.”

Of all the skills to learn, Janice recommends actively listening. Active listening is one of those skills that comes in handy from the interview room to the board room.

Janice explained that although listing your achievements in an interview might be tempting, listening correctly is more important. “I think it’s super important to actively listen and then apply it back to the question.”

Use Your Initiative to Be Solutions-focused

Learning to use your initiative to solve problems in an internship environment will hold you in good stead for the rest of your career.

Siyi claims having an ownership model was imperative to her standing out as an intern. Full-time staff are often busy with their objectives and don’t always have the time to help interns with the needed resources.

Siyi advises new interns to jump into things only if they correctly research the task. “Figure out why it happened, what needs to be delivered, and how [you can] make it happen.”

Siyi suggests approaching projects with this initiative and drive will help you reach solutions quicker, but once you finish the task, “the result will be appreciated.”

Embrace Challenges

The premise of any internship is to learn. The best way to learn is through experience. That said, embracing challenges as they arise during your internship is essential.

When discussing the most important lesson from her internship experiences, Janice said it was “to learn.”

Siyi had similar advice to give. At the start of her internship with an investment bank in Beijing, her goal was to impress her colleagues enough to gain experience in the Hong Kong office.

Although she doubted her ability initially, she was determined to embrace challenges, and her hard work paid off.

“My Beijing office boss recommended me to [the] Hong Kong office, which really helped me stand out!”

In conclusion, an aptitude for learning and a willingness to take on challenges is the nexus of all internships.

Taking on the myriad of challenges an internship can offer will improve your chances of succeeding and shape the legacy of your career that follows.