For many people, an internship is their first foray into their career. It can be an exciting and nerve racking experience. The thing is, a good intern can become the next company employee. Therefore, it is a smart idea to make the most of your internship. Now, here is the problem – jumping into an internship means you have to learn how to swim by diving into the deep end. Frankly, employees and management will not have the time or inclination to help an intern. However, if you follow some proven steps, you can become the intern that employees and management will remember.
1. Show up on time
This may seem rather simplistic. However, many interns treat their internship like a job at a pizza shop or a college class. They feel that being a little late will be okay. Or that no one will notice. If you’re an intern, being reliable will be your first test. If employees and managers do not think you have the motivation to show up on time, then they will not entrust you with any important work. And frankly, you won’t be interning for long. The key is to always show up early. Be the first one in the office and you will be remembered favorably.
2. Watch and learn
As stated before, employees and managers will not have the time to show you the ropes. You will simply have to learn by watching. The great thing is, since people will ignore you, it will be easy for you to be a fly on the wall at status meetings and you can easily eavesdrop on conversations. Through the simple absorption of your work environment, you can understand how to communicate with co-workers and clients without sounding like a novice.
3. Understand the office culture
There is a saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” The same could be said for interning at a company. It is important to dress and act just like the people around the office. It the employees wear a business suit everyday, the you should wear a business suit everyday. If employees answer the phone a certain way, then you should do exactly the same. By adapting the office culture, you will demonstrate that you will be better able to fit in with the company.
It’s probably a normal practice for you to check Facebook, Instagram and Twitter every fifteen minutes. Well, when you are interning, you’re going to have to go into media blackout. Unless your job involves being on social media, you’re going to have to leave the phone in your pocket and focus on your job. And don’t try to be sneaky. Employees and managers can tell if you’re hopping around the corner to check your Facebook feed. It is important to impress the company by your focus and dedicate yourself completely to the work in front of you.
5. Show gratitude
If you gain an internship, chances are you beat out dozens of people for the position. And some interns tend to take this position for granted. That is why it is important to say, “thank you” as often as possible and show your appreciation for the opportunity. Near the end of your internship, you should begin to craft personal letters that you can hand deliver to the people whom your worked with during your internship. That not only includes the managers but the employees who took the time out to assist you. People rarely receive physical personal letters anymore. A well written thank you note will go a long way to demonstrate your gratitude, maturity and professionalism. Also, Some businesses retain employee recognition companies that help reward high performance people at the company. Several well written letters may lead to recognition by the company.
An internship is essentially an extended audition for a position at the company. You should use this opportunity to show your reliability, determination and appreciation for the position. By becoming an invaluable member of the team, you could well be on your way to be offered a permanent position.
by: Sia Hasan