Summer is almost here! The school year is wrapping up, and soon you get to enjoy the great weather and... start your new internship!
You may be heading into your very first internship, returning another year at the same company, or starting something completely new- but the goal is the same: you need to stand out.
Whether you are competing with 50 interns or you are the only one, your internship is critical to gaining real life experience, working towards a future job, and enjoying working life. Here are six tips you should follow in order to stand out at your summer internship.
Be the first one there and last one to leave
It may seem simple, but it is the best thing you can do to set yourself out from the crowd. Something as simple as arriving 15-30 minutes early and leaving later than your coworkers attests to your work ethic.
You may not get verbal affirmation, but people will notice and at the end of your internship, something as easy as being the first one in the door and the last person to leave might be that push to hire you over the person that is always just “on time.” And who knows, you may actually get a bit of extra work done that’ll put you ahead of your fellow interns.
Always ask questions
If you have even one question, ask. You won’t be the annoying intern in the office, but you will be the most informed intern in the office, and eventually people will be coming to you with their questions. If you don’t fully understand something, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or for additional details- it will prevent miscommunication further down the road.
By asking questions, you are constantly learning more about what you are doing and how to achieve the best results possible. Your work will in turn be more thorough and you’ll have more interaction with your supervisors, which shows dedication and will help you develop meaningful relationships.
Be open when working with other team members
Most internships usually involve working with different groups of people, which means you need to focus on your cooperation skills. Being a team player is one of the most commendable qualities in the office and employers love someone who can work with other people.
Be firm, but respectful
This goes along with being a team player. You might feel intimidated speaking your mind to a new group of people, but that is ok. Make sure you are firm, but also be able to listen and build upon others ideas. Your peers and bosses will respect your opinion if you respect theirs and they’ll notice how well you work with other people. According to Forbes, flexibility and confidence is key.
Always ask for more work
If you finish a project early and still have a time left at work, ask for more! However, don’t take on more than you can handle if you’re already swamped. The work you get might be small, but your supervisors will love how they can approach you with tasks they need help with and in turn, build trust and a relationship with you.
Internships are generally two to three months long for a reason, and that is to demonstrate how you utilize a limited amount of time in a position, as well as to show an employer your skills and prove yourself as a viable candidate for a full-time job. More work leads to more responsibility and a stronger portfolio, so don’t go a minute of your day without something to do.
Try to get face time with your boss
This is your biggest opportunity to brand yourself. Your boss is likely very busy, but still attempt to make some sort of face to face contact. Asking for a sit down meeting, lunch, or just a quick drop by the office to say you’re finished with your work and are heading out are ways to get in front of your boss.
Especially in the age of e-mail, one-on-one interaction gives your boss a face to put to your work and gives you an opportunity to get to know them as well. Try to see your boss regularly so they remember you and so you have the ability to brand yourself.
Good luck to all you interns out there, and have a great summer!