As an intern, this is your biggest opportunity to get real world experience, build a solid portfolio and make contacts that can last a lifetime. And not to forget, you’re getting your foot in the door at a company you have been aspiring to work at, thus increasing your chances of landing a full-time job!
To help you make the most of this experience, here are eight tips you can follow to stand out and shine!
Do your homework If you really want to be best intern ever, begin your prep work before your first day. You’ve probably researched the company before your interview, but you must refresh your memory. Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in that industry with the latest news and opinions. Researching the company in depth, industry buzzwords and your supervisor, will make you look really well-informed, making you feel more comfortable and confident when you start.
Find a mentor One of the key things to being really successful at your internship will be to find a mentor who will guide you and show you the ropes, most importantly you should find someone whom you can shadow through your entire stint as an intern. Having a good mentor will make your transition from a fresh graduate to an employee much easier and a lot less stressful.
Stay focused Making a good first impression is crucial, but even more important is doing the right things, that your supervisors will applaud and provide excellent references whether, you secure a job with this company or if you seek full-time employment elsewhere.
Build key relationships It can be tempting to only interact with other interns or not fully see yourself as part of the company, but don’t fall into that trap. Even if there's a language barrier and talking with your co-workers seems like a task – break the ice, it'll be worth making that extra effort in the end. Whether it’s saying yes to lunch or after-hours sessions, jump on every opportunity you can.
Make yourself indispensable Be eager to take on more tasks than you’re assigned - and ask for more if you have downtime. The idea is to stay super productive through the day so your managers take note of your value add. In the end they may just offer you a full-time gig.
Be a sponge Soak it all up! After all, you’re there to learn. There’s nothing worse than an intern who thinks they know it all.
Ask good questions Don’t be afraid to ask questions and step outside your comfort zone. This shows that you’re willing to learn and have a sincere interest in the job and company. The hallmark of an intelligently curious co-worker is the quality of his or her questions.
Seek feedback Last but definitely not least, seek feedback at every step – this is key to improvement. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for feedback throughout your time with the company. This shows your employer that you’re eager to do whatever it takes to do your job well. This is also an opportunity to identify your strengths and weaknesses, so you can get working on them before you leave.