For college students, internships are the golden gates to an amazing career. Internships are the perfect opportunities for young professionals to acquire and develop skills, network, and prove themselves as a hard workers. What you are about to read is a 5-step guideline for sticking out among your peers and for being seen as the best intern in the entire company.
Follow these steps to becoming an unforgettable intern:
1. Earn respect – You are paying your dues!
When walking into your internship, it is important that you remember that you are there to pay your dues, just like everyone else did in the company. Know your worth to the company, but do not overstep boundaries!
Your main goal is to assist and learn from your superiors. Some may find it unbearable to go into a company knowing that they are at the bottom of the totem pole, but it is important that you swallow your pride and not feel entitled. Dedicate yourself to becoming the very best worker possible and your superiors will notice!
Do not be entitled! Respect is not handed out, it is earned. Remember that! As I mentioned above, you are there to pay your dues and learn. Go into the office and work to your best potential every day, and the respect will come. Even Jay-Z had to earn respect as a newcomer!
2. Walk in like you have something to lose.
Now, I’m not saying you need to act like you are walking on eggshells, but you must be calm and collected in the workplace. You should come into work everyday with a positive attitude, ready to work smart!
There’s a big difference between working hard and working smart. Working hard means that you have no problem with working over eight hours in a day. Working smart is being able to fit a 10 hour work day in an eight hour shift.
Productivity is extremely important, and if you are losing an hour or two a day because you are surfing the Web or looking at your phone, you can expect that your manager will lose their patience and drop you. LeBron didn’t become the best basketball player in the league (arguably) by working just as hard as everyone else, he works harder.
3. No project is too big!
This section reminds me of the 3rd week of my internship. A co-worker was going on vacation for the week and left me a huge checklist of things to do while he was gone.
At the bottom of the list, he left a note saying, “If you can get at least one third of this list done before the end of the week, that would be amazing.”
By Wednesday, I was completely done with the list and asking my boss for another project. Don’t be afraid to take on a big project!
4. Never complain… Everything is a learning experience.
Understand that not every task you need to complete is going to be glamorous. There will be tasks you will be given that may be a drag, but do not – I repeat DO NOT – complain about doing this work.
You never want to be seen as ungrateful in the office. It is important that you see everything in a positive light. Even if the task you are working on is small, see it as something that your superior is trusting you and only you with. Everything can have a positive twist.
5. Network with your colleagues.
This is possibly the most important step in this entire article. An office is filled with professionals who have years of experience. Everyday, you should be making a conscious effort to try and pick the brain of another professional.
An easy way to do this is by taking them out for coffee during the day. Coffee is inexpensive and quick. Make sure you treat, and let them know that you are appreciative of their time. If you do this a few times a week throughout your internship, you will have numerous connections and unmeasurable knowledge about the industry.
Now that you have this guideline to becoming an unforgettable intern, apply the knowledge learned and prove to your employer why you are the very best. Outshine the competition and get that full time position.
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