When the internship season comes around, thousands of ambitious students embark on a journey to gain industry experience at great companies, hoping to convert into a graduate position the year after. Being offered a role as an intern is a huge achievement in itself, but it doesn't end there! During your internship it's incredibly important to make a great impression, for your future career and to give yourself the best chance possible of receiving a graduate offer.
This article will cover some principles you should follow as an intern as well as some extra tips on how to stand out during your time at a company.
Be proactive and take initiative
Before you even begin your internship make you sure you are properly prepared and have understood any instructions from the company. Continue this mentality throughout your internship by being proactive when completing projects and by not being afraid to ask for help or clarification if you're stuck. This indirectly tells the company that you are willing to go above and beyond to ensure your work is of high quality, and that you care enough to want to understand what is being asked of you.
Get to know your team and manager
During your internship is an excellent chance to develop your professional relationships and network. Showing your great work ethic and building a relationship of trust with your team and manager during your internship may even result in being given more opportunities and a greater ownership of work. These are also likely to be the people to provide feedback on your performance, so it pays to make a good impression.
Being close with your team can also lead to being invited to more fun social activities, such a team lunches or events!
Present yourself well and take care with the little things
In some cases, the little things make a huge difference when it comes to deciding who to select for a graduate role. Since you only have a limited time to prove yourself, giving a sub-optimal first impression is hard to recover from.
Most of these things are applicable in all jobs/workplaces, but here are some important behaviours to avoid:
- Consistently arriving late to work
- Having a excessively laid back attitude
- Unnecessarily staying back later/leaving much earlier than everyone else
- Being too informal in the way you converse or the way you dress
People notice these kinds of behaviours or attitudes even if you think they don't. Your seniors or supervisors are looking for people they want to work with and if you can't prove that to them during your internship, your likelihood of receiving an offer is low.
Build friendships with your fellow interns
One thing that will stand out to you during your internship is the cooperation and friendship among the other interns that are working with you. Having a positive mindset and teamplayer attitude towards your peers will improve your experience, not only because it shows how well you work with others, but because it just makes the whole experience way more fun!