Before taking the plunge into the real world of being an adult with a full-time career, completing an internship or two will provide valuable lessons to learn from. In order to learn as much as you can during your internship, you need to be the best intern possible. The best interns often get job offers from the company, which should be everyone’s goal. The big question is how can you be the best intern?
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- Be on Time
You don’t show up late to work and expect to be handed a gold star, so why do you think you can show up late to your internship and be given a job offer? Being late once can be looked past, but being tardy regularly is not acceptable. To make a really good impression, arrive 10-15 minutes before everyone else arrives at work.
- Ask Questions
A good intern is not afraid to ask questions. You may have been selected for the internship because of your knowledge in the industry, but that doesn’t mean you know everything. Doing a project correctly the first time but taking a little longer to make sure you do it right is more important than rushing through it and getting things wrong. Asking thoughtful questions shows that you are engaged and interested in your work and what others are trying to teach you.
- Ask for More Work
Supervisors will often under assign you work until they learn how much you can handle. When you finish a project, don’t sit around waiting to be given something else. Immediately ask for more work. This will make a good impression with your supervisor, showing them that you can and will work diligently.
- Ask for Feedback
You are never going to know if you are doing a good job or dramatically falling short unless you ask for feedback. You need to learn where you are falling short early so that you can fix any shortcomings before the internship is over.
- Find a Mentor
Now is the time to start securing someone to be a mentor. Find someone that is willing to help you get on your career path that you look up to.
- Network Now
Networking starts now. Your internship is a time to start forming lasting relationships with coworkers that may be able to help you later down the road. Being able to build these strong relationships will help you later on when you need letters of recommendation or tips on job openings. Do not let your desire to network cause you to overlook anyone from the janitor to the CEO. You never know who will end up being a valuable acquaintance in the future. Treat everyone with respect, because people are watching you as an intern to see who you truly are.
- Keep the Connection Going
Your internship may be over, but that doesn’t mean you should never talk or interact with the people from your internship again. LinkedIn is an easy way to casually stay in communication with the company to see what everyone is up to.
To learn more about maximizing your internship, read these articles:
- 25 Podcasts to Set You on the Road to Freelancing Success
- Use These 20 Skills of Great Salespeople in Any Career
- What Does It Take to Be a Successful Entrepreneur?
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