Internship Tips: 5 🐝's to Impress the Best
By: Shannon Looney, June 25 2018
First impressions are important. In most cases, early assumptions are not the most realistic way of determining someone’s attributes, but that is commonly the nature of the professional world. The first impressions you make are critical at every stage of your career. How you are initially perceived by colleagues and supervisors can influence a whole range of things, thus it is important for you to lead with your best Bees.
1. Be punctual
When you are punctual, especially, in the office, it shows your respect for people and their time. In the business world, everyone’s time is valuable, and as an intern it is crucial to adapt to a professional culture. To be on time is to be 10 minutes early. For my first internship I used this 10 minute rule, and that was noticed right away by my supervisor. It was one of the first impressions that I had control over, and I took advantage of that.
Whether it is a meeting, your first day, or a lunch rendezvous, being punctual displays reliability, trustworthiness, commitment and discipline - qualities that are regarded as extremely valuable to many employers.
2. Be Positive
Positivity and a can-do attitude will go a long way during your internship. When starting out I took on all the tasks that came my way, plus searched for projects myself! No matter how menial the task, be sure to take it on with willingness because the approach you have towards your work speaks volumes about you as a person.
The way we carry ourselves is important because it is so notable. It could land you your dream job, a collaboration with a new work colleague, or an extra thumbs up from your boss. Your demeanor in the office will influence how you approach things like conflicts, projects, or stress, and if you can be positive during your internship experience, it will only be of benefit to you. The more you are open to taking on, and learning no matter what the task, it will leave a lasting impression at the office.
3. Be curious
Whether you’re curious about a programming language used by a colleague, the projects currently live within another department, or just what's happening on the other side of the office, being curious is so valuable during your internship and in life! Internships should be looked at primarily as as learning opportunities. And with learning, curiosity is always a valuable attribute.
Curiosity encourages the discovery of new and better ways of doing, and thinking. Add this mindset to your internship to ensure you leave a positive impression - a curious worker is an engaged worker. The more engaged you are, the better the level or work you’ll produce. So, don’t be afraid to be curious!
4. Be Proactive
There may be days at your internship when tasks are scarce and new projects hard to
come by. Don’t let this concern you, because there is opportunity in all workplaces,
sometimes you just have to find it! When there was down time at my internships I made
an effort to stay proactive by reading up on current events in the industry, sparking a
conversation with an employee I hadn’t met before, or just asking my supervisor for more
As I have said before, even completing seemingly mundane tasks can leave a positive
impression, as well as giving you an insight into the day to day runnings of your host
company. The more proactive you are, the more you will learn!
5. Be Social
There is an ease and an attraction to socializing with fellow interns, however I highly recommend you step out of your comfort zone and converse with employees and senior colleagues who you could gain some extra insight into the company from, professional advice, and a potentially valuable connection for the future!
A simple lunch or coffee date, or scheduling time in the office are ways to get to know someone better. These types of conversations will also help you to learn the tone and structure of conversing in a professional manner. Don’t be afraid to reach out, because everyone was in the position you are in at this moment. You might be surprised at who will go the extra mile to help you out in your career!
For the right reasons, standing out during your internship is a good thing. If you are able to showcase your abilities and professionalism during your time as an intern, you are on the right track to leaving a memorable impression. Rather than using your internships experience as a check off box on your resume, really assert yourself within the company and absorb as much as possible! There are valuable skills and experiences to learn while interning, and this is your time to take full advantage of it. The five pieces of advice listed above are just the start to impressing your supervisor. You are a unique individual, so I encourage you to find the ways will best suit you and your professional goals! 🐝