So many times an internship can lead to so much more — lasting relationships, your next job, and possibly even a career. In some industries, like mine, an internship is considered a working interview. Depending on how you fare throughout your time at the company, opportunities could open up later on down the road. I’ve had some amazing supervisors and coworkers this summer that have helped me learn some great ways to stand out and be successful during an internship. I interned at a fashion public relations firm, but these tips apply to any internship in any industry.
1. Introduce yourself… to everyone!
Of course you’re going to do this at first, but make it a continual thing. I would introduce myself to any new person I interacted with — whomever I delivered packages to in the office, whomever I spoke to on the phone at the front desk, etc. As my internship progressed I found myself working with people from different departments — another opportunity I used to say my name. Not only does introducing yourself forge new relationships, but also it helps people remember you.
2. Be reliable and consistent.
This basically just means show up. If you said you would work three days a week, do it and get to the office on time. Be available for the people relying on you and do it without question. Follow through with your commitments; as my dad says, simply doing what you say you’re going to do will set you apart from 90% of people.
3. Have a curious and open mind.
Read: ask questions! Especially if you’re confused about something or want to know more about the company/industry. Internships are for learning more about a certain field to see if it’s the right fit for you, so take advantage of the experts you see on a regular basis — they want to help you succeed!
4. Say YES, but know when to say no.
Sometimes intern work isn’t the most glamorous, but stepping up to the plate to do an undesirable task will set you apart. One of my intern coworkers almost always volunteered to run errands this past summer in the ridiculous heat and employees respected her for that.
On the other hand, you might need to manage your own task list for the day. Employees constantly needed help at my internship, so I had to learn to prioritize assignments and at times, tell an account executive that I wasn’t available (and of course, they understand). Don’t be the intern that takes on too many tasks and ends up not completing them or not completing them well.
5. Communication is key.
Do your best to promote an open and effective line of communication between you, your coworkers, and your supervisors. Check in often, ask for feedback, and get to know the people you work with. Not only will you prevent errors due to misunderstandings, but also you could build lasting networking relationships with people in your industry. And hey, everyone knows someone (that could potentially get you a job)!
Of course there are so many ways to rock a summer internship and I’d love to hear y’all’s tips, too! Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading 🙂