Every summer, millions of students and new graduates go through the nerve-wracking experience of being a summer intern.
It’s your first time in the working world, and it’s natural to feel uncertain of how your experience will go, knowing that you’re at the bottom of the totem pole.
Of course, being a summer intern is a temporary position – but that doesn’t mean you have to go into it with that mindset. Many summer interns manage to successfully turn their experience into a full time role with the company. If you’re looking to do the same, here are some tips to help you push your way to the top!
1. Fake it until you make it
Start off simple. The first thing you need to do is follow the company’s rules and regulations. Be sure to arrive before your scheduled time, and show respect to everyone at the company. From there, build relationships with your co-workers. Make sure you introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Be polite, and smile when a co-worker passes your desk. You want to ensure that you are giving off a positive vibe! Even if you’re not feeling 100% comfortable in your role yet, making an effort to put forward a professional and positive image can go a long way.
Your time here is short, so use it wisely! By the end of your internship, everyone should know who you are. Your connections can serve as references and recommendations for positions inside the company as well as other external roles should you be looking to transition in your career. Building strong relationships with your teammates and managers is one of the best ways to get hired – after all, you will be more likely to stand out in their mind when making hiring selections.
3. Be open to constructive criticism
The purpose of an internship is to learn and gain experience so that you can grow as a young professional. However, none of this can happen if you keep your thoughts to yourself! Don’t forget to ask questions, seek feedback regarding your work, and constantly challenge yourself. These are all qualities that managers look for when hiring – if you can show that you are open to learning and improving yourself, then you will be ahead of the competition.
4. Go beyond your job duties/requirements
The best way to leave a lasting impression on someone is show them that you’re worth keeping! Think of creative and innovative ways to approach or complete a task, or volunteer to take on additional work when you can. This is a great way to show employers that you’re willing to go above and beyond your role. After all, no one wants to hire an individual who just does the bare minimum of their job.
5. End on a high note
On your last day, make sure you send a thank-you note to everyone you worked with. Find ways to stay in touch by exchanging emails/phone numbers and LinkedIn URLS. Even if you don’t get hired after your contract, it will ensure that you are at the forefront of their minds when they are looking for someone to fill a role. Do this by letting your manager know that you are interested in being hired.
Aside from these steps, you need to get accustomed to developing positive habits at work that will lead to success. These include:
- Keep yourself motivated. Whether you’re researching, writing down your short term and long term goals, or attending seminars, find a way to maintain your drive.
- Be constantly on alert. Look for ways to improve you work, and don’t be afraid to bring some new ideas to the table.
- Stay focused. Focus your energy on completing your tasks. Once you’ve completed them, take some time to brainstorm new ideas to improve your work.
The bottom line? Stay positive and have fun! Your internship is one of the best opportunities you have to learn new skills, make mistakes, and prepare for your career. But while you’re testing the waters, don’t forget about your career goals. Investing time and effort early in the game will pay off in the long term!