By: Kelsey Zody
As a first time intern, I want to stand out and make a positive lasting impression. As my internship start date appears to be right around the corner, I find myself anxious about emerging in a sea of talent. We are told that an internship is a long term interview for a future job. Yet, there is not much information provided on how to stand out in the ongoing interview. Whether this is your first, second, or even third time being an intern, it is vital that you enter the internship with these five Tips in mind.
FIRST: Erase Your Auto Pilot. Going into your internship with a completely open mind is crucial. Even when your manager asks you to complete a task you might have done before. Take detailed notes, and make sure you are clear on the company’s way of doing things. Be mindful that you are entering a new dynamic environment, and you are expected to flow with the way the company directs you.
SECOND: Maintain “First Day” Attitude. At the beginning of every internship, interns are eager to learn, tackle tasks, and ask thoughtful questions. Yet, when many interns start to feel comfortable within their position, they tend to get complacent. This means that the intern does not feel it is necessary to continue to go above and beyond, as they once did. Remember to end your internship with the same level of care and determination as when you started.
THIRD: Turn Mistakes into Growth Opportunities, and Ask For Feedback. Everyone is going to make a mistake at some point in their internship. Whether your mistake is big or small, take a lesson from this slip, and utilize that lesson into future tasks. Continually making the same error is when there can become a problem. Alongside making mistakes is asking for feedback. Your manager can provide you with valuable insight on how you are performing. View feedback as helpful enhancement to your skills instead of criticism. Keep a positive, forward moving mindset during the course of your internship.
FOURTH: Step Up and Stay Humble. Becoming the go-to intern for new projects or tasks helps make you memorable. Once you get comfortable with day-to-day tasks, don’t be afraid to ask for more work. Your manager will appreciate your determination, and will likely make note of it. As you start to get recognition or rewards for your work, be careful to stay humble through the praise. You may be a star intern, but it will leave a sour taste in any manager’s mouth if you accept your success with arrogance.
FIFTH: Treat Your Internship Like a Real Job. You are an important part to the team, so be sure to behave as such. Take diligent notes during meetings, ask questions and meet deadlines. This shows attentiveness, and dedication to your role.
Lamberg, Erica. “7 Ways to Stand out during Your Internship.” Ladders, Ladders, 11 Oct. 2019, www.theladders.com/career-advice/7-ways-to-stand-out-during-your-internship.