Diving head-first into your summer internship? Here’s how to prepare

Posted by TD Synnex Editor on May 25, 2022

It’s summer intern season — the most wonderful time of the year for companies across the U.S., and a fantastic opportunity for students (like you!) to learn and dip a toe into your professional career.

But before you dive in, be cautious — these programs are only a few weeks long!

Wondering how you can make the most of your time?

Whether you’re a first-time intern or returning “veteran,” our previous interns have some advice to help you along in your journey. Here are our expert panelists from our 2021 Summer Intern class at TD SYNNEX:


All five of these co-workers have already proven themselves successful in their respective business areas. I am privileged to have been able to pick their brain and excited to share their knowledge with you.


Q: Many large companies have huge internship programs. As one of 28 interns, how did you make yourself stand out?


Lydia: I always strive to be professional and engaged. As an intern, you have the perfect opportunity to get in front of executives, managers, and co-workers, and let them know you want to learn more. Going into those conversations, it’s important to know who the person is, what they do, and have your questions ready to make educated, informed conversation.


Nate: I think the best way I stood out, and anybody can stand out, is to be open-minded to doing any task given to you. Even if it’s something that you don’t want to do long-term, you’ll learn a lot about your interests and future goals.


Sumairuddin: I would say always put yourself out there and reach out. I’ve already seen some great results in my current job from doing this; I’ve found that my co-workers are more willing to come up to me with new opportunities, or things they think I might be interested in.


Putting yourself out there isn’t showing off or seeking attention; it’s a great chance to learn and grow.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Q: How did you set yourself up for success throughout your internship?


Amy: For me, keeping a list of tasks. Sometimes you get requests from different business stakeholders, and just to keep it organized and check off each task when you’re done. That was really helpful to see what I had completed, mentally prioritize, and complete my tasks in a proactive and timely way.


Izzie: Because I went through a lot of meetings, I got to meet many people throughout the business. Moving into Talent Acquisition and University recruiting, it was especially helpful to already be familiar with different co-workers and have pre-established relationships with them.


Another way I set myself up for success was by researching if I didn’t know about something. Even just a quick Google search on topics I wasn’t familiar with helped me educate myself as much as possible.


Q: What would be your biggest piece of advice for summer interns, at our company or others?


Sumairuddin: Take initiative to meet new people. Don’t expect them to come to you; if you want to learn about something, take the first step and don’t be afraid to send the first e-mail. (And — don’t wait until the last minute! Your internship will be complete before you know it.)


Lydia: Just enjoy it. Do the best work you can do, meet as many people as possible, engage with fellow interns, and just soak up every minute. Everything will work out in the end, so have fun!


Izzie: You’re not “just an intern;” don’t overlook your own knowledge and expertise. There’s so much knowledge and innovation that you bring to the table (otherwise they wouldn’t have hired you!). Generational diversity is a thing and sharing your background and perspective can be extremely helpful.

Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

Q: Amy, you previously mentioned the importance of mentorship. How do you find a mentor?


Amy: I would say start with the group you work with. Through your job and the projects you work on, you’ll meet a lot of different people; if you find someone you admire or click with, pursue that friendship or professional relationship.


Don’t expect to find a mentor right away, but once you meet more people, you might find someone you admire that could bring value to you; that could be a great mentor.


Q: Finally, why did you stay at TD SYNNEX? What’s your advice to someone who isn’t sure they want to stay at their internship company full-time?


Nate: My advice would be to network — just talk to people. They’ve been in your shoes, and their experience can help you get more clarity on your situation.


I love that TD SYNNEX is very malleable in terms of where and how you work. I met a couple of people on my current team who I just really clicked with, and it was just a perfect fit for me.


Sumairuddin: Find somewhere that treats you equally and with respect. I never really had good experiences when it came to management, but here at TD SYNNEX, my team treated me equally and respected my opinion. I even shadowed three departments, but each of the managers was kind and listened to my ideas.

For me, it wasn’t about the money; it was more about the relationships I had with others and how many opportunities they could offer me to grow.


Lydia: My advice would be to decide early on what your end goal is. For me, that was getting a full-time role at the company. By having that clearly defined goal early on, I was able to seek advice and pursue that goal for the entire 10 weeks of my internship.


Moving into a full-time role, I knew I wanted to work for a company where I can grow and make an impact, and I found that here at TD SYNNEX. Knowing that we were merging two billion-dollar companies around the time that I joined was huge, so being able to say that I made an impact and am continuously growing in my role is a great opportunity.


Good luck to all the Summer interns out there! We wish you the best and hope you have a fulfilling and positive experience.

About the Author

TD Synnex Editor

TD Synnex Editor
The Update by TD SYNNEX is your source of insights and thought leadership for the tech channel, focusing on the next generation of technologies, such as cloud computing, IoT, analytics, 5G and security.