For college students entering the “real world,” internships are quickly becoming more and more mandatory if you want to land a good (or any) job after graduation.
So, you’ve worked hard to get the internship, but now what? Here are a few ways to make a lasting impression and get the most out of your internship.
Focus on each and every task that’s handed to you at your internship. Try to stay away from your social media accounts and random searches on the internet if it doesn’t relate to your assignment. If you find yourself with some free time, ask your boss for any additional work you can help with. This shows that you are a hard worker and are eager to help out.
Observe office behavior
Take note of how the employees act and how they work together, and mirror that. If everyone gets to the morning meeting early or has lunch together, you should too.
Dress the part
Your dress code can definitely show if you take your job seriously or not, especially if you dress how you would if you were going to class. Remember, dress to impress. Dress as if you are a full-time employee. As an intern, you are technically part of the business, especially if you are getting paid. Don’t let your boss feel like they made a bad decision hiring you. Take every part of the job seriously. It’s like the saying goes: dress for the job you want.
Show your boss and other employees that you are trustworthy. Show that you can pay attention, follow instruction, and apply the advice that’s given to you. Soon enough, someone will leave you with a difficult task to complete on your own, and you’ll need to prove to them that you can handle it.
Know what to expect
Depending on where you intern, understand that you might be stuck with boring tasks, and that’s okay! Impress your boss by taking your work seriously and being the best at whatever is given to you. This shows that you are ready to take on more difficult responsibilities. Remember that you are still gaining experience and are improving your resume, which means you’re not above any work your boss gives you.
Ask for feedback
Asking for feedback will not only help improve your work, but you will also show your boss that you are working to improve. Every once in a while, you should ask your boss about your performance and progress at your internship, and what you can do better. Something helpful to know is the goals your boss has for their interns so you can go out of your way to impress.
Ask for career advice
Talk to your boss and other employees about your career plans. Talk to them about what they’ve done to get to where they are today, the steps they took, and the sacrifices they had to make. Ask them what types of obstacles they’ve had to overcome along the way. Don’t be afraid to have ask for advice, because everyone there wants you to succeed.
Say “thank you”
Saying "thank you" for an opportunity is one very important job most interns forget to do. Say thank you to show your appreciation for the opportunity given to you and mention everything you’ve learned from the experience. If you really want to stand out, create personalized thank you notes for your coworkers.
Make (and maintain) connections
This one is a biggie. Once you’ve become familiar with your coworkers and your role in the company, make sure to connect with them on LinkedIn, and – most importantly – stay connected even after your internship is over. See if any of your coworkers would like to catch up over a cup of coffee, and check in with your old boss every now and then to see how the company is doing and update them on what you’ve been up to professionally. You never know – maybe another position has opened up that you’d be a good fit for. The work experience you gain at your internship is important, but your connections can be just as (if not more) vital when you’re looking for a job in the future.