Being an intern is a great way to obtain an introduction into a field, gain hands-on experience and make connections within the industry of your choice.
The connections you make will not be beneficial if your supervisor or co-workers passed on that you weren’t a great intern. It’s crucial, even as an intern, whether paid or unpaid that you show up and go above and beyond so that you leave a good impression and get referenced for future job opportunities.
Here are a few tips to follow to help you crush it during an internship:
1. Be On Time
Being on time may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised how many people tend to be consecutively 5-10 minutes late. Even if you have seen your co-workers or boss coming in late does not mean you should follow suit. A lot of interns receive evaluations and this could be a negative point brought up when discussing your work. Try and always get to the office 5-10 minutes earlier than your shift, especially if you need to set up your work station.
2. Take Notes And Ask Questions
If you are given an assignment or shown a new skill, write it down. Being a newbie, you will be given loads of new information. Always have a notebook and pen handy to write notes. Also, while receiving an explanation ask questions to make sure you understand the directions given. Sometimes we might be too nervous that we do not ask questions. This can only hinder you from doing your best.
3. Be Organized
If you have a desk, keep it clean. If you are given many papers, look for a folder to keep them in and have them in order. If you are given multiple tasks, write them down with the time that they are due to keep track of everything. Showing that you are organized can prioritize and can multi tasks which is a big plus for employers to see.
4. Dress The Part
Upon receiving your internship, inquire on the office dress code and respect it. On your first day of interning dress like you already have the job. If the place that you are interning has a more relaxed dress code, still keep in mind that you should always look professional. Try avoiding short skirts, shorts, low cut v-necks and crop tops.
5. Ask For Feedback
In the middle of your internship, you can politely ask your colleagues or superior for feedback on how the internship is going. This can give direction on what needs improvement and what are your strengths. You’ll also have the opportunity to bring up any questions you may have or the skills you wish to learn before the end of your internship.
6. Show Enthusiasm
Show that you love what you are doing even if they are not paying you. You want them to say that it was a pleasure working with you. Be polite and make small talk with your colleagues. Develop a relationship but do not cross boundaries by being inappropriate. If your superior is looking to delegate tasks then raise your hand and take on the challenge. At the end of the day, ask your colleagues or superior if they need help finishing up any tasks. Be open and flexible.
7. Take Initiative And Give Your Input
If you have ideas on how to make something better, speak up and share your ideas. If you know that a certain task that is supposed to be done at a certain time, go ahead and get it done before being told because this shows that you are eager to get involved and be apart of the team.
The tips mentioned above will allow you to get great feedback at your internship. Nevertheless, remember to have fun and make the most out of your position as an intern. I’d like to hear from anyone who has done an internship or managed interns, what tips would you share with someone who will be going for their first internship?