It’s that season! Many of you are starting new internships this summer and you want to make a great impression. There are so many things to consider when doing an internship and it can be overwhelming if this is your first professional job. I would suggest you read my old post, Internship Do’s and Don’ts before starting. Now let’s be clear, being a good intern is cool but it’s not enough. You want to set yourself a part and show that you are worthy of that full time offer. Here are my top three ways to stand out as an intern.
Do the Most
Doing the minimum in your internship will make it hard for people to remember you- so do the most instead. It is important to respect your role as an intern. Be sure that you are clear on what the expectations are of you prior to your start and make sure you are meeting those expectations. If you are looking to stand out from the other interns, you will need to take it a step further. You will likely be reporting to associates during your internship. Consider ways that you can help make their jobs a little easier. Think about how you can get involved during your internship with extracurricular activities. Maybe there is a committee who is organizing the office summer events. Ask about ways that you can help with organizing some of the events. For example, if you know that there is a lunch and learn that the associate is working on for the office- offer to help. You could see if they could use help putting together handouts, setting up the meeting room, and so on. This may seem trivial but it helps to leave a lasting impression.
As an intern, your primary focus is to learn and gain some experience in practice. Although you are still learning and certainly not the most knowledgeable on the team, you do have something to contribute. If you find that you have discovered a more efficient process for something, share that with your team. Make sure your approach is appropriate and you can explain why you feel your way is more efficient. If you have ideas or even questions, do not be afraid to speak up. You want to be mindful of your tone but never think of yourself as “just an intern”.
It can be easy to get caught in your bubble as an intern, clinging to only those in your intern group. However, an internship is essentially an extended interview, so you need to make sure that people know who you are what you are like. Be intentional about introducing yourself to people who you do not know or work with daily. This is a great way to get a feel for the office. If people are truly weird, you will find out at the water cooler. You should also make it a point to speak to a few of the partners/managers when time permits. This is a great way to demonstrate that you are interested in getting to know the people of the company. When the time comes to decide on whether or not to make an offer, those making the decisions will have something more on which to base that decision.
If you remember nothing else, be the type of intern you would want to work with. Be willing to go out of your way, volunteer to help, and speak up when you have something great to share.