by Gabi Bourn
Production Manager at Wunderman
Chances are you just started interning and realized that there are many other interns all competing for your manager’s attention. Many interns consider attaining an internship as the accomplishment of a goal, but really, it is just the beginning. Here are a few tips on how to stand out as a superstar intern:
Recognize the Internship as a Long Interview
The first step is to realize the internship is a long interview. Keep that mindset and act like you did when you interviewed. Each day you should get to work on time, ask good questions, and be prepared. Everything you do every day is part of the interview for a future job.
Understand Your Role & Update Your Resume
Students know to update their resumes with their internship experience, but sometimes they don’t understand enough about what they do and how that fits with the bigger picture to add meaningful information to their resumes. Make notes about what you are doing, learning, and achieving each week to be able to really understand your job and how that fits with the bigger picture. Remember to ask questions when you are unsure.
For example, maybe you make a certain report each day, but do you know what that report is used for? How does it relate to your major or interests? Maybe you are working across platforms to consolidate data for upper management. As a Management Information Systems (MIS) major, that would be an important element to include on your resume. Think about how what you are doing at the internship fits within the company as a whole and then how it fits within your bigger goals.
Even if you think you don’t need notes, take the notes! I’ve never heard an intern say, “Oh, I wish I hadn’t written that down.” Something about writing down a note makes the information stick in your head better, and you can always go back and look at the note if you forget. Writing something down is not a weakness. Plus, it shows everyone else that you place value on what they are saying.
Communicate with your Manager
Open communication with your manager is crucial. Be open, honest, and clear. If you like a certain aspect of your job, tell your manager. Let him or her know if you want more responsibilities. If you want to intern for another semester, communicate that. Some interns will get certain opportunities because they have indicated a desire to their manager. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
Become Part of the Team
Beyond learning industry or technical skills, work on your networking skills. Connect with the other interns and professionals who can help with advice and references later down the road. Remember to be courteous and have good manners.
A good attitude is contagious and will make you stand out. Be someone who your co-workers want to help and connect with. The more you fit in with the team, the more the team will want to keep you around and hopefully offer you a job after graduation!
originally posted on LinkedIn, republished with permission