The opportunity to intern is something you should grasp with both hands – not everyone gets this chance and it’s often an ideal way to get a foot in the door in some rather insular and saturated industries. Making a good first impression is of paramount importance – remember; most people form judgements about others within the first seven seconds of meeting them! As an intern, there are some basic things you can do to stand out and get yourself noticed. You need to impress your mentor, and absorb all the learning and expertise you can in a limited period of time. Here are some top tips for excelling in your internship:
Be punctual: It’s simple but important. Being on time shows that you are dedicated and interested, and that you have respect for those you’re working for. If a situation arises that forces you to be late, call the office and be sure to give a reasonable justification for why you can’t make it on time.
Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to engage with people and ask questions about the company and the work that you’re doing. More often than not, showing an interest and asking pertinent questions gets you positive attention as it makes it evident that you’re eager to learn and are absorbed in the tasks you’re doing.
Be respectful but don’t be reticent: There’s a way to be respectful while also ensuring that you’re proactive and assertive enough to get what you want out of your internship. Don’t be shy to engage with your mentor and ask them to give you tasks that you see as relevant to honing your skills and future career prospects. Don’t be afraid to ask for extra work if you’re bored – this shows initiative and will impress most managers.
Be a positive presence: Interns can bring some sunshine into the office environment. If you’re imaginative, enthusiastic and eager to learn, you’ll be someone whom people like to have as a colleague and to engage with. Showing an interest in others, and being friendly will help you to make friends and valuable contacts within your chosen industry.
Meet your deadlines: Often, you’ll be treated as a full-time employee with a workflow and deadlines to meet. Ensure that you never miss a deadline – if you do, you need to have a good reason why and you need to explain this to your manager well in advance of the due date. Leaving things to the night before and missing the deadline is not acceptable in the professional environment.
Learn, learn, learn: This is your opportunity to soak up knowledge like a sponge! Embrace each moment of it and take every chance to glean knowledge from people whom you respect. Remember, you’re allowed to make mistakes! Mistakes are the best way to learn – it’s how you recover from them that’s important.
We’ll help you to find your perfect internship match! Contact us now to find out more about our internship programmes overseas.