Internship Advice: 8 Tips for the Perfect Internship

At ASL, we always encourage our students to pursue an internship, and include it in your studies. During that process, and after they completed the internship, we asked some students for their advice for future trainees. Here are eight answers you might find helpful for your own decision, finding as well as completing an internship.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out and write an e-mail to asl-internship@uni-leipzig.de

Advice from previous trainees:

  1. Do it! All of our students state that they have learned a lot during their internship and on more levels than they could have imagined before. With a degree from ASL your job-possibilities are very broad, maybe too broad for some. Find out what you want to do after studying during an internship or even different internships.
  2. Keep searching if you do not find the fitting offer right away. Sometimes it takes time, especially with the COVID-situation right now or if you are an international student without perfect German skills. You can always scroll through the Internship News section or reach out!
  3. Choose your institution carefully. Is it beneficially for your career, does it fit your interests and you character, what do you want to learn there, are you able to participate or are you just getting coffee for everyone? It might be good to choose a smaller institution or a separate department of a bigger company, so they really have time for you.
  4. Think about when to do the internship. An internship can be quite time consuming. 40 hours per week on top of lectures and seminars or a couple of papers to write, can be quite a lot. So, think about designating a whole semester to an internship or reduce your hours at ASL. The term break is also a good time to do an internship.
  5. The internship is a time for you to learn something new. It is not about knowing everything ahead of time, and nothing wrong with making mistakes or struggling. Just make sure you can take something away from that experience. Ask for advice and feedback. If you are underwhelmed, ask for more tasks. If you are overwhelmed because you learn so many new things every day, ask for a break.
  6. Socialize! In the business and job world nothing works without connections, so make sure to connect to your co-workers, reach out, and make a good impression. It might be helpful later in life or so you do not have to spend your coffee breaks alone.
  7. How do you finance the internship? Most internships in Germany are unpaid, so think about how to finance your living during that time. You could ask the company to work part-time and work in a paid job besides doing an internship. Or you could apply for a scholarship or Bafög. It is not impossible to manage!
  8. Start early with writing down your learnings. In the end you will have to hand in a report about your internship. If you collect everything during the internship, it is easier to just sit down and combine your findings, rather than having to write everything from scratch days or weeks after you left the company.