As an intern, I did not expect to ever go on a business trip, so when I first heard about the opportunity I was excited.
Yet, the excitement was soon overcome by nervousness. What was I going to do? How would I act? What would I say? I will no longer be in my comfort zone, instead I will be far away at another company working.
Now that I look back at the experience, I am very thankful not just for the opportunity but for everything that I learned. Every new intern and new hire will experience the same feelings I did, but my goal here is to help that person make the best out of the trip.
How To Make The Best out of a Business Trip:
- Do the most you can to prepare before hand
- It is very important to know what is going on, even if your role is small
- Prepare like you are the one presenting just in case you are needed…you never know
- Ask questions before the trip so you are well prepared
- Listen and Observe
- Pay attention to what is going on, do not wonder off b/c one day that will be you
- Take good notes to reflect on after the meetings
- Even if you have a small role, the experience of presenting is important
- Ask questions when needed so you can understand what is going on
- Show others that you are part of the conversation
- Act as if you are the one presenting
- When questions are asked, answer them to yourself, and compare your answers to what is actually said
- Learn what the best way is to answer questions, even if you do not know the answer
- Reflect by yourself or with your partner about the meeting and the outcome
- Ask the following questions:
- "What were the concerns from the meeting?"
- "What are the key points from the meeting?"
- "What needs more work?"
- "What are the next steps?"
- "Was the meeting a success? Why or why not?"
- Get to work!
- Use the new knowledge from the meeting and add value to the project
- Contribute and start preparing now for the next meeting
- Keep in contact with the other company/partners, show the progress, and ask for their input
My business experience was a complete success as I learned important lessons that will help me contribute even more next time. This is important, especially as an intern, since I will soon graduate and work full time in the corporate world. I am thankful for this opportunity as an intern, and I look forward to future opportunities.
I would love to hear your experiences as well. I am sure that I will learn from you as well.