An internship is a great time to learn responsibility. Some of you have (or maybe have not) held part-time jobs or worked at your parent’s office up until this point. With an internship – comes a commitment and a responsibility. If you are nervous about the responsibility here are a few quick ways to show your supervisor you can handle it.
1. Be Accessible. You aren’t always going to be able to pick up your phone the second someone calls you (you might be sleeping, at dinner, etc.) but make sure to return calls promptly. If someone calls you during business hours, you should try to return their call within a two hour window. Make sure your phone is charged as well!
2. Adapt to Communication Styles. Different companies communicate in different ways. Some employers might want to chat with you over the phone. Others might use email, text, Facebook messaging, or Skype. Be flexible and open-minded and follow their lead.
3. Work to Understand Where You Can Add Value. At your internship, you might be assigned a task – you complete that task – now what? Try to understand how and where you can add value to your team. Once you finish the task, sitting and waiting for another isn’t necessarily adding value, try to think about what the next step in this task might be. If you aren’t sure what the next step is – ask.
4. Take Advantage of Any Opportunity. Go after the work that isn’t so glamorous. Volunteer for everything, get to know every executive. Take advantage of any opportunity to learn, connect with someone new, and build not only your resume but your professional contacts.
5. Dress The Part and Act the Part. Make sure you dress and act like the person you want to be perceived as. Focus on looking sharp, polished, and put-together- that’s much more important than looking trendy or like a fashionista. You’ve got the role – now be the role. Remember, if you look sloppy or act too casually in the office – that’s how you will be perceived.
Good luck at your internship this summer! For more internship tips, read my internship book, ALL WORK, NO PAY.