how to be a good intern
Posted : November 26, 2013
Last Updated : November 26, 2013
In preparing for a successful career, one of the most important steps you should take is to complete an internship while you are in high school and/or college. Not only will you learn valuable skills, but if you make the most of your internship, you may also secure an outstanding letter of recommendation and possibly even a job position at the company once you earn your college degree. Use these tips to learn how to be a good intern in order to make the best possible impression.
Be professional. As a student, you may think that you have a pass to wear jeans or arrive 20 minutes late due to your busy school schedule, but this isn’t the way to make the best impression. You should always adhere to the company dress code even if you are coming straight from class. You should also aim to arrive a few minutes ahead of your scheduled time. If you will be late or absent, be sure to call in advance.
Stay positive. No matter what task is given to you, always complete it with a positive attitude and a smile on your face. Interns are often given menial tasks, such as making coffee, organizing the supply closet, or making copies of documents. When you complete these assignments with a positive attitude, you will make a lasting impression.
Soak in information. Become a human sponge during your internship. When your internship supervisor explains company policy or gives instructions on assignments, listen intently. Take good notes so you don't forget important policies or instructions. To learn more about being an invaluable employee, volunteer to attend any professional development opportunities that the company may offer. Ask for feedback from your co-workers and supervisor and apply their suggestions to your work.
Ask questions. If you are ever faced with a task that you are not sure how to complete, be sure to ask questions from the get-go. It's always better to ask questions rather than make mistakes on an important assignment.
Be proactive. Once you complete assignments that are given to you, don't spend the rest of your day browsing social media, surfing the Internet, or completing your homework. Instead, ask your supervisor or other employees if you can help them with their workload.
Exceed expectations. You should always go above and beyond what you are expected to do during your internship. Once you complete your daily assignments, always review your work to make sure there are no mistakes or to see if you can make improvements. Learn new skills and programs so you can offer help to busy employees. Submit new ideas if you think they will be beneficial to the company. Creativity goes a long way toward making yourself a memorable intern.
Make connections. Networking is a key component in being a good intern and in landing a job after college graduation. Make an effort to meet employees outside of the department or area in which you are working. Introduce yourself to senior management. Make connections with other interns at the company. Strive to maintain those connections once your internship is over. You never know which contacts could help you obtain future employment.
For more information about internships, speak with your high school counselor or visit the Career Services department at your college.