Balancing Friendly Competition With Fellow Interns
This blog was written by Amanda Gallucci, our Campus Ambassador from Providence College.
Very frequently you will be working directly with other interns at your internship. Of course you want to show your boss that you can work cooperatively, but there may also be the temptation to take the lead and outshine your fellow interns. Use these tips to help you maintain the right balance between being a team player and demonstrating your individual ability.
DO Give credit where credit is due. Try to split up work evenly and distinctly so that it is obvious who is responsible for what. If one person is consistently doing more work than other, don’t be afraid to privately let your boss know the situation behind the scenes.
DON’T Feel like its important for your boss to know every single time you finish a project more quickly or take on a larger work load. Over the course of time having an overall strong work ethic should be plain to see and set you apart without you having to announce it.
DO Be helpful and patient with other interns. If you’re confident about a particular skill or assignment, prove it by giving tips or offering to look something over for someone else.
DON’T Think only of yourself. Taking time to help others might take away from your own assignment, but remember work isn’t a race. You can stand out by becoming known as the go-to source of information for others.
DO Build the strongest relationships possible with the interns with whom you’re working. You never know when you are going to cross paths again in the future, and networking with people in the same position as you can be just as valuable. If you work together well, you’ll be more likely to keep in touch and be willing to help each other out in the future.
DON’T Limit yourself. Even though you may have mostly group assignments, find a way to stand out. Taking initiative by offering to take on additional work or setting up informational meetings isn’t being competitive towards the other interns. If you focus on what you can do separately as an individual, rather than what you can do better than another intern, you are giving yourself the chance to shine without putting anyone else down.
There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition; just make sure you are not being overly aggressive to the point of being selfish, or under performing because you get too comfortable within the group.