14 Ways to Stand Out Before the End of Your Summer Internship
Summer internship season is over in a few weeks and you want to make sure you leave the best impression. Read through my list of 14 tips to make sure you are a stand-out intern and will get nothing but glowing reviews from your internship coordinator!
- Complete Your Tasks 100% - Never send an incomplete task back to your supervisor. Always ask yourself, "have I done everything I can to complete this task? Am I leaving anything out?"
- Think Ahead - Once you’ve been an intern with the same company for over 2-3 weeks, you’ll start to predict your supervisor’s next question. Take it upon yourself to think ahead and take your assignment to the next level.
- Own Your Task - Take pride in your work. Show your team that you really care and go above and beyond with every step.
- Follow Up Vigorously - Make sure that you follow up on all of your assignments. If your supervisor had you reach out to someone with a question and you haven’t received an answer, follow up two days later and keep your supervisor posted on your progress. Don’t let any task slip through the cracks.
- Don’t Take It Personally - If your supervisor critiques your work, be thankful you are getting feedback. Don’t assume that just because they didn’t love your work they don’t like you.
- Do Great Research - Whenever you are given a research task, do whatever you can to find the correct information. Always think, "if another person was asked to do this task, could they find something different? Could they do the task better than I am?"
- Provide Amazing Customer Service - If your internship is client-facing, make sure that you treat the clients with the utmost respect and show how friendly and cooperative you are.
- Follow the Systems - Most companies have certain processes that they follow in order to get tasks done. Make sure you have a solid understanding of the company systems and if you aren’t sure about something, reference your intern training guide or ask your supervisor.
- Clarify Parameters of Task - At your internship, you might get tons of information thrown to you at once. This can be really confusing at times. Don’t assume anything. Write down all of your questions and at the end of the explanation, ask your internship coordinator questions about the task. They’d rather answer your questions than have you mess up the task.
- Communicate Your Status - The internship coordinator at your company probably has a million things going on at the same time. They have no idea whether you are working on project number 1 or project number 4. Keep them posted a few times per day regarding what you are working on. They should always be aware of your status.
- Ask for Projects - Don’t make your internship coordinator guess when you are and aren’t busy. When you don’t have work in front of you, ask for more.
- FIO - In my new book, Welcome to the Real World, I talk a lot about FIO – Figure It Out. When you don’t know the answer to a question, be creative and think outside of the box. Ask other interns, reference your training guide, and keep a positive attitude. In the real world, sometimes we all need to take a deep breath and FIO.
- Maintain a Positive Attitude - Your supervisors or colleagues might be having a rough day, but you can’t control other people’s moods. Make sure you stay positive throughout the duration of your internship. No one is interested in the intern with a bad attitude. Be the “breath of fresh air”.
- Discuss Your Projects With Your Supervisor - Don’t let any task slip off the map. Always follow up with your supervisor and say things like, “Did you want to go over that research I did for you last week? Are there any next steps you’d like me to take?”