How To Make The Best out of a Business Trip

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
  • Participate
    • 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
  • Reflection
    • 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.