HRCI & SHRM Re-Certification Secrets on 7/20 at 11 AM CST. Recert credits available. Register here.
It’s summer time and internship season! Congratulations on landing a great internship. This is a fantastic way to learn new things, meet new people and develop professionally with real work experience.
- Expectations: Find out everything about the company and departmental goals. Do you know clearly what your boss expects? Exceed all expectations every day. It isn’t so hard to do this, but you would be surprised how many people didn’t realize this in the beginning of the summer.
- Meaningful Work: Optimize every opportunity to learn and try new things. So if you hear about a new or unique departmental project, raise your hand to get involved. Take every possible opportunity to do new projects or take advantage of any special training programs. If you don’t have enough to do, ask for more work or suggest projects that would add value to the company or department that are in alignment with your goals.
- Networking; Internships present a wonderful opportunity for networking. You will meet co-workers and other interns. You also may meet vendors, partners and customers. Ask your manager about other potential mentors in the company that you can talk with about their work. Whenever you get advice from co-workers or mentors, be sure to follow up with a thank you email. This one act will differentiate you from everyone else. Also, create a complete and optimized LinkedIn profile so you connect during the summer with your new coworkers.
- Research: Find out everything about your company. It’s a great chance to review the company website and learn about the corporate initiatives, locations, goals, policies, products and divisions. Don’t forget to like their Facebook fan page, follow on Twitter, like the LinkedIn Company page and so on.
- Dress: Dress professionally and fit into the corporate culture. A finance company in New York City will be more formal while a social media tech startup in San Francisco might not be. Stay away from flashy or revealing outfits no matter what kind of office you are working in. Be classy and professional looking. You want to be remembered for the amazing project you did not the length of your skirt!
- Communications: Bring a cell phone but don’t use it except during lunch or breaks unless your boss prefers communicating via text. If an intern spends her day texting to friends, she will be headed for trouble. The same goes for social media usage, unless you are working on social media projects. Actually a lot of interns do have this as part of their marketing responsibility.
- Attitude: Go in with a smile and be ready to listen and learn. Ask questions and be helpful. Take notes and be inquisitive. Be ready to assist in a variety of situations. Remember that even though you signed on for meaningful and meaty projects, everyone has to do the lower level tasks sometimes. Also be ready to help other team members when needed. Approach all your work with enthusiasm and gratitude.
Internships are all about learning and growing. What are you doing to be a rockstar intern?