So you’ve got an amazing internship. Now what? How do you make sure that you stand out among the rest?
To answer this question, I asked every member of Candidate Advisory Council to give me their best advice to help make sure you are at the top of your game. Everyone was eager to help and the responses came flying in. Much to my delight, the advice each person gave differed from the last, which gives you all the more guidance.
Abby Leppert, our Director of Philanthropy, said that being an outstanding intern begins the day you walk in the door.
“Set up within the first week, or even the first day, to have performance reviews with your supervisor throughout your internship. You should at least have one that is halfway through your internship as well as one towards the end of it. This shows that you’re dedicated to being aware of your performance, willing to both listen and act on criticism, and that you going in committed to learning in the workplace. Also, show up at least the first week in business professional until you get a feel for the workplace.”
Mike Wheeler, Director of Exsell, gave similar advice.
“If I were to give one piece of advice, it’s to make sure you’re communicating your goals for the internship to your manager and regularly asking for feedback. At the beginning of the internship, ask them to outline their expectations of you and during regularly scheduled meetings, keep asking if there’s anything you could be doing better or differently. Doing this has made my summer internship an amazing experience.”
Numerous people mentioned how important it is to make connections while you are there. Liam Moore, VP of Marketing, had this to say:
“My advice it to make as many connections and be as personable as you can. The more connections and relationships you make the bigger and more diverse your network. Even if you can never see yourself working at the company you are interning at, never underestimate the benefits of developing relationships. You never know where your co-workers or boss you intern with may work in the future, or who they know and where that person works. Making connections and establishing relationships can lead to endless possibilities in business.”
Brandon Skeen, Director of Coach and Candidate, had similar words to say.
“During my internship I have learned that it’s important to branch out and meet as many other employees as you can. Making connections will allow you to show your boss that you are an extrovert, which is a quality employers look for in a salesperson. Furthermore if you end up working full time at the company you can start your first day feeling as though you are already a part of the company. “
Andrew Hanus, Director of First Impressions, had advice that went beyond how to make a good impression.
“Get food at the grocery store. If you’re living away from home for the internship, dining out every night is way to expensive.
At your internship, try to schedule a 1 on 1 with the director or manager. A 30 minute one-on-one will allow you to get to know them very well and will help you get a better perspective on what might stand out to them.
Treat every task/project/report like you will be putting your name on it. Clean, consistent professionalism will gain you more respect in your role, and will allow you to stand out. This also can lead to a larger role in your position.”
Director of Corporate Research, Nate Cox, offered help similar to theirs.
“So my only little bit of advice for an internship is to meet as many people as possible while you are there. The people you meet during your internship are going to be the most valuable assets you have when you are looking for full time offers. Personally, I have set up a time to meet with someone new at least twice a week since the beginning of my internship. It goes a long way just to sit down and have lunch/ coffee.”
Nicole Bolzan, Director of Recruitment, had advice along the same vein.
“My advice for interns would be: be outgoing as possible! The more people who see your face the more times your name gets brought up which brings positive attention towards you when you are doing good things. The more people you meet the more connections and relationships you will create, which will benefit both of you in the future.”
Jackie Andrascik, Director of Toastmasters, says it doesn’t hurt to be a little “sweet.”
“I spent a lot of my time under a new person each week and I had to switch teams halfway through my internship. So when I switched teams I asked each person on my previous team what their favorite candy was and I made a little gift bag with a thank you, the candy, and a stress ball. It didn’t cost very much but it was an awesome way to make an impression. I recommend at least writing a handwritten thank you, because sometimes going old school is the best way to surprise your coworkers.“
Director of Engagement, Bethany Komushoff, mentioned how important it is to network.
“The best way to kill it at an internship is trying to get involved as much as possible. That can be participating in golf outings, going to lunch with coworkers, or just talking to people around the office. Networking is extremely important in the corporate world so getting your name out there can help you at any job.”
Keep in mind, the title of this blog is “How To Kill It At Your Internship Part 1.” There was so much help given for this blog that I couldn’t put it all in this post! Come back in two weeks and you’ll see the rest!