Making a Lasting Impression

The Global Explorer Program is underway. Many of you will remember the Summer of 2017 as the start of your career and the turning point in your life when you decided to take your career into your own hands.

My name is Cornelia Holzbauer and I am an alumni of the 2016 New York City program.

I joined CI as a Program Assistant for 2017 in the Big Apple and I couldn’t be happier about this opportunity. The industry I cover is Media, Entertainment and Journalism, and I was able to intern with an established PR company in Tribeca thanks to CI last year.

In this blog, I will share insights on how to make a lasting impression at your company. I’ll do my best to assist you during your eight-week internship with advice that will help you make the most out of every day.

You can use this information in your own way. Use it as a motivational boost each week, use it to remind yourself why you are here, or use it to show your supervisor that you are willing to do whatever it takes in order to make a lasting impression.

Every post will accompany and assist you with each week of your internship and is named after the goal that I have set you for that particular week.

Below, you will find an outline with all 8 steps and a description of them. You can just go ahead and click on them to get started, I will upload each article for you as we move through the eight-week program.

Step 1: Observations. Get a grasp on your company’s work culture through observation.

Step 2: Work It. Transform into an intern powerhouse and contribute positively.

Step 3: Engage. Find efficient ways to get even more involved in your company’s workflow.

Step 4: Review. At half-time, review your work and adjust where necessary.

Step 5: Show Your Worth. Demonstrate your learnings to your supervisors.

Step 6: Contribute. Play a part in your company’s development with continuous effort.

Step 7: Make an Impact. Finish your project and present to your mentor.

Step 8: Look to the Future. Make a lasting memory and consider what’s coming next.

##STEP ONE: OBSERVATIONS In your first week(s), meet new people, introduce yourself to as many new co-workers in your host company as possible and start making your mark.

It’s never too early to act on securing your future. Start to understand your company’s culture and find out how you can play a part.

Be alert, be aware and be positive! This is a new experience for you as an intern and for your company, who decided to take you on and mentor you over the summer.

One of the things that I told myself every day when I first started my internship last year was to make every minute count.

Make yourself memorable. Don’t just sit out your time in the office every day, but make good use of it.

Some of you have traveled from overseas to come to New York, London, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. or Miami and some of you had to fly across the country. No matter where you are from, most of you have left your usual environment for eight weeks to be here and get an insight into the business world of your chosen city.

How am I supposed to stand out in a company that already has established employees when I am just an intern, you may ask.

First and foremost, never label yourself as “just an intern”. Yes, maybe that’s the title you have been given for now, but it’s what you make of this new opportunity. There are different types of interns, after all.

CI interns deserve a different title.

“Career Accelerator”, “Achiever”, “Future Leader”. Do you want these to apply to you?

Throughout the course of the eight-week program, I’ll focus on showing you how to make an impact with your host company and how to avoid becoming “just another intern”.

At the beginning of your eight-week internship, use your time to learn about what your company does, the industries that they cover, understand their goals, how each employee contributes and how they function as a team.

You will need all this information to be able to define your own position in the company and to be able to move on to Step 2 in this 8-Step Plan.

You’ve not only scored an internship, you have also arrived at your company and (hopefully) made a good first impression. Congratulations!

This series is all about making a lasting impression with your company. Your CI internship can give you a head start in today’s competitive business world, but at the end of the day, it always depends on what you make of it.

Remember, eight weeks will fly by, so let’s get into it. Prior to joining the program, you should have had a rough idea of your company’s overall goals and how they make money.

Your next step is to find out as much as possible about your company’s working environment and their competition. I call this the observation step. Observe your colleagues, your supervisor and their manager. Find out how their work is connected and the steps each of them take to obtain certain goals.


It’s OK to make a mistake, as long as you learn from it. This is your chance to learn from other people’s mistakes, so pay close attention.

David Meltzer, Entrepreneur Contributor and Founder and CEO of Sports 1 Marketing, calls this the dummy tax. Avoid paying this tax by not making the same mistakes as your colleagues, as you observe and analyze their actions.

You will also be able to put this information into practice with CI’s ‘Company & Market Analysis’ event.


One of the most important lessons I learned last year was that every task is essential. Let me give you an example.

Let's say you intern at a PR company and you have been given the task of looking up circulation numbers for different publications like magazines and newspapers and collating them in a spreadsheet.

Initially, this may entail staring at a computer screen all day, handling seemingly trivial numbers. It doesn’t exactly demand a lot of creativity or initiative on your part and you might even end up asking yourself: why can't my supervisor give me more demanding tasks?

But you have two choices. You can either sit down and get it done through gritted teeth. Or you can look at the bigger picture. Those circulation numbers represent product exposure and your company is contributing directly to that exposure. Your contribution in the form of collecting and presenting numbers will help your company legitimize their work and prove their successful PR to their clients.

Observing your company’s work culture and their process of structuring and carrying out tasks will give you extra motivation for your assignments, no matter how big or small.
Another way to look at this is how certain assignments will boost your CV. Adding ‘generated media lists using MS Excel, calculating circulation numbers for clients’ enables you to stand out from those without the relevant experience.


Be alert and stay motivated. Analyze your company from top to bottom and start thinking about the areas that you can get involved. Your employer will be so impressed when you pro-actively walk through your interpretation of their company and where you believe you can add value.


You’ve survived the first week of your internship, and if you followed Step One (and everything went well), you should be able to analyze your company thoroughly. You’ve (hopefully) already established a routine by now.

If it feels like you’re mixing learning and contributing, you’re doing everything right. Step 2 in this 8-Step-Plan is rather simple, yet effective. Put in the effort to reap the rewards.

Show your supervisor that you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty and throw yourself into every new task that you are assigned.

If you are working on bigger, long-lasting projects, own them. By the way, congratulations. Apparently, your supervisor already trusts you enough to hand over tasks to you which might impact on the company’s overall success. Depending on the industry that you are in and the culture in your company, a day at your workplace might look significantly different from that of your peers.

Some of you might have to run errands for your supervisors and are out and about a lot, whilst meeting new people and learning new skills. Some of you might spend the majority of your time in front of a computer screen. No matter what your routine looks like, there are some universal tips that will help you improve your efficiency at work.


In order to be as efficient as possible, it is essential that you are exclusively focused on the task at hand. There are several aspects to this.

Firstly, remove everything that might distract you and gather essentials that you need before even starting your task. This might involve a cup of coffee (or tea), a pen and notepad and a snack that keeps you focused.

Secondly, avoid multitasking. Many people think they are great at multitasking, because they do it all the time. In reality, you will get more tasks done in less time if you stay laser-focused on every assignment separately.

According to the American Psychological Association, shifting between tasks can cost us up to 40 percent of our productivity time. This means that it takes longer to complete several pieces of work when doing them all at once than when finishing one at a time. Rather than trying to crank everything into one single assignment, work your way through one task completely, then move on to the next one. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but in general, this helps you to stay focused and to get into a flow of continuous concentration.


Even though you should approach every assignment with 100%, try to map out a structure to ensure you’ve prepared for the parts of your task that need more of your time, concentration and effort, and which don’t.

Avoid wasting your most valuable resource, time, which could have been put to better use on more challenging engagements.

Also, do harder tasks first, when you’re still feeling fresh and motivated for the day. Get to things that don’t take up that much brainpower later in the day.


Transform yourself into an intern powerhouse! Your supervisors will take note of your devotion to the tasks that you’ve been given and this will help you to move on to Step Three.

Approach every assignment with all your energy and motivation and structure your day to increase efficiency. Keep up the good work!


Now that you’ve demonstrated your work ethic and devotion to the tasks at hand, it’s time to move on to Step 3: Engage.

Demonstrating a keen interest in your company’s goals and output will take you to the next level and again show your host company that you are serious about your internship. After all, nobody wants to stay an intern forever. The ultimate goal of your internship is a full-time position; whether with your host company or with another company. Make use of this experience.

Once you feel like you have become an important part of the team, you’ll find additional motivation to push yourself harder to perform at a higher level.


Give your best every day. Once you know that you are performing at your highest capacity, set up a meeting with your supervisor to discuss your progress and the goals that you have set.

This is also a good time to tackle any problems you might have or tasks that you are struggling with. You might be nervous about addressing sensitive subjects with your mentor. Even though they are an authority figure, your supervisor will always have your well-being in mind.

Positive engagement has a positive effect on a company’s revenue. According to Aon Hewitt Research a five percent increase in employee engagement is linked to a three percent revenue growth in the subsequent year.

Speak up and show your supervisors that you are truly willing to make a lasting impression whilst interning with them. Your initiative will be rewarded in the long run.


After getting more involved within your company, consider involvement away from the office. See if there are any networking opportunities you could join. If some of your colleagues regularly attend a professional social event, ask if you could tag along.

Stay on track with your industry’s event schedule online and find out if there is anything of interest happening close to you. At networking events, you have the chance to meet influencers in your industry and connect with them, as well as work on your professional communication skills.

CI’s host cities are all international hubs, offering countless possibilities for you to engage and meet professionals who could go on to shape your career. Meet Up is a good resource. Take someone with you or let someone else know where you will be.

In 2016, Lou Adler, hiring expert, CEO of the Adler Group and LinkedIn Influencer, published results of a survey in which he had asked participants exactly how they obtained their most current position. The results: Roughly 85 Percent of survey takers claimed they had been hired through networking.


Engage in two ways: Get more involved within your company and get out there and reach out to potentially valuable connections as well.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but make sure that you learn from them. ‘Positive mistakes’ will only take you one step further to where you want to go. Learn, grow and own your internship!


We are almost at half-point of our program and things are moving fast. By now, you should have made valuable connections, you should know your colleagues by name and if you’ve been applying yourself, you may have already managed to complete a project (or two).

Your routine is starting to feel good and going to your internship every day has become a walk in the park. This is the point at which you should take a second to review the work you have done so far and see how you can improve.

Your willingness to improve continuously will not remain unnoticed by your supervisor.

Below, I will outline several aspects of your internship that you can review and what to change about them, if applicable.


Just as you would proofread a paper that you wrote for a class, you can also review the assignments that you completed for your internship so far.

If you’re a writer, look at the first articles you wrote and how they differ from the ones you complete now.

If you are interning for a company who sells ad space, review how many clients you were able to draw in during your first week and how that number compares to your performance now.

In short, review your projects and see where you’ve already made visible progress, plus where additional adjustments are necessary.

This is an activity that is useful if you’d like to impress your supervisor even more. Schedule an appointment with them and tell them exactly how you interpret your own achievements so far and where you see room for improvement. Don’t be taken aback if they offer a level of criticism. Identifying your own mistakes will only help you improve yourself. Caroline Ceniza-Levine, career expert, author and contributor, calls this self-knowledge, which will help you moving forward.


This may sound trivial, but you will notice what a difference it makes. Sit down with a laptop or a sheet of paper in front of you and literally write down what you have accomplished so far. There are two major benefits to this.

Firstly, you will be more aware of your own worth and the tasks you can accomplish. You can review this document to remind yourself of the things you can achieve.
Secondly, you will be able to present your accomplishments to your supervisor and prove to them that you are a valuable intern and have potential as a member staff.


If you haven’t already done so, speak with your supervisor and discuss your mid-program appraisal, which you’ll find in your CI Welcome Binder.

The appraisal is the perfect way to get an honest evaluation from your superiors. This gives you a chance to improve on the things that have been criticized, but also to perform with even more enthusiasm when it comes to the tasks that you’ve done a good job on so far.

Enthusiasm is key. According to the Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report 2016, as many as 78 percent of recruiters say that enthusiasm is the biggest decider to hire someone after first-person interview, followed by command of requirements and conversation skills.

Since you are in a position right now where you are eventually looking to be hired by the company you’re interning for, this information should motivate you.


Last year, I was so caught up in my routine that I didn’t even realize how fast the time flew by. Be aware that half your internship is over and use this motivation to go the extra mile.

Try to engage in additional projects and network more than ever.

If you feel like you’ve been stuck working on bland projects, don’t be afraid to schedule a meeting with your supervisor to ask for more demanding tasks.

Coming forward and asking for something is always better than not saying anything at all. Your supervisors may not prioritize your progress on a daily basis, so it’s important to speak about what’s on your mind.


Review your projects and see where you can improve. Make yourself aware of your achievements for an extra motivational boost. Get more people to notice you by giving 100% every day. Approach your superiors with anything that is on your mind. You only have four weeks left, so challenge yourself to make the most of them.


You’re over half way through your internship and if you haven’t done so already, now is really the time to pick it up a notch.

Apply everything you’ve learned during the last four weeks and work on becoming an intern that your company won’t want to see leave at the end of the program. After all, many of you aren’t just here for the experience, but looking to get a full-time position out of this internship.

Making a lasting impression is great, but it is just a stepping stone to eventually getting hired. Truly show what you’re capable of to get your supervisors to notice you. Here’s how to do it:


Handle this tip with caution. As an intern, always be humble, so don’t actually start bragging about all your achievements. However, do emphasize your strengths in order to put them to good use at your internship.

For example, your supervisors might not know that you’re proficient at MS Excel or that your photography skills are off the charts. If a project comes up that fits your skills, don’t be afraid to come forward and offer your help. This is a part of being proactive and putting yourself out there as opposed to just completing the tasks that were assigned to you in the first place.

Also, other departments might need a hand once in a while. Let as many people as possible know that you’re here to help.


During the first part of your internship, you probably spent a lot of time observing your superiors to learn. You might have had to ask 10 questions to be able to complete one task, because you weren’t used to it yet.

But now that you’ve already been interning with your host company for at least four weeks, you’re most likely in a routine and can contribute to the company’s goals and overall success. Give it your absolute best, no matter what kind of task you are assigned.

Being able to truly contribute isn’t only a great feeling, but it will also show your supervisors what an invaluable addition to the firm’s workforce you will be in the future, whether immediately, or a little later in the line. Don’t shun longer-term thinking.


If you contribute continuously excellent work, employees at the firm will gradually start giving you more responsibility. Áine Cain, Career reporter for Business insider, says that interns who build up trust with co-workers become indispensable. This means being smart and hardworking isn’t enough.

Help your supervisors to trust you by getting every detail right and becoming a crucial part of the company’s success.


It’s perfectly natural that rising early for your internship is harder on some days than on others, especially if you’re used to a more relaxed college life. But don’t get tempted to start slacking at this stage: Keep up your motivated mindset that you had on Day One at the office.

According to Progressive Business Publications, a positive attitude will improve the quality of your work and make every task more enjoyable.

Not to mention that your motivated, hands-on approach will be remembered by your supervisor. Show how driven you are by putting a smile on your face and approaching every task with a positive mindset.


If your goal is an entry-level position with your host company, approach your supervisor and let them know.

Many companies take in interns thinking that they’re only doing it for school credit or the experience itself. If you’re interested in securing a full-time position at your company, ask your supervisor about the steps that will take you there.

The worst that can happen is that there aren’t any job openings right now. Two out of three CI interns will be offered a position or an extension of their internship either immediately or over the next couple of years: Work on becoming one of them!

Even if you’re planning on going back to school in the fall, talk to your supervisor about your short-term goals during your internship. In both cases, showing you are proactive and willing to apply all your learnings to your internship won’t fail to impress your superiors.


Emphasize your skills in order to put them to good use at your internship. Focus on contributing and build up trust with your coworkers by delivering continuously excellent work. Don’t start slacking. Instead, come in with the right attitude and also show your proactive side by talking to your supervisor about your goals – whether they are short- or long-term.


We’re in Week Six already and the end of the program is approaching fast. Over the past few weeks, you’ve observed your supervisors, worked hard to achieve your goals and shown your worth to your supervisor. Now it’s time to take your contribution to a higher level. The kind that takes you from being another intern to becoming invaluable.

I will outline which steps to take to deliver exceptional work and have your supervisors’ jaws drop when they see you performing at your absolute best.


Approach each project as if it was a road trip that needs to be mapped out, meaning that you should plan every project from start to finish before you even begin working on it. Kevin Eikenberry, Chief Potential Officer of the Eikenberry Group, a learning consultancy, says that every contributor to a project should be aware of the desired end result.

Especially when you’re working on something as a team, it’s important to communicate with each other constantly and keep everybody in the loop throughout.

When working on something by yourself, let your supervisor know about your goals and timeline for this particular project as well. This not only shows them your dedication, but also puts positive pressure on you, keeping you from procrastinating. Procrastinating is deadly.


There have probably been days when you arrived at your internship and you were tired, cranky or hungry. These are exactly the days when you need to pull yourself together and triple-check your work, because that’s when you’re most prone to make mistakes.

Never turn in an assignment that has been rushed and is probably going to be error-riddled. Your supervisor will understand that you might take a bit longer for a task if they can tell how much effort you’re putting into getting it done accurately.

Pro Tip: If you’re unsure about the quality of your work, leave it for an hour and do something else. Once you get a glance at it again, you’ll have fresh eyes and spot mistakes more easily.


You can either be a hard-working intern who gets all their assignments done in time or you can be an exceptional intern who isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty with anything. Be on the lookout for tasks that you could contribute to and then offer your help. Go above and beyond.

This proactivity will be noticed by your coworkers. The next time your supervisor asks for a hand on a project, they’ll likely endorse you.


Don’t only identify problems and report them to your supervisor, but present a solution. Would you want someone to drop all their problems at your door and leave, or would you want them to share a problem and present a potential solution?

This doesn’t need to be a big issue. It could be as simple as making a helpful comment in a meeting or coming up with new ways to increase the company’s revenue. Make sure that you don’t just sit out your time in the office doing your regular assignments.


Find creative ways to stand out every day. Caroline Ceniza-Levine, Forbes Contributor, Career Coach and Founding Partner at, emphasizes that coming up with new ideas or asking thoughtful questions to encourage ideas takes you from being a great help to being indispensable.

After six weeks, you should definitely have a broader idea of your company’s industry and its position on the market. This is the perfect groundwork to brainstorm new ideas that might contribute to your company’s overall success. It could be part of your final project that you’ll present to your supervisor at the end of your internship.

This is particularly relevant if you’re interning at a dynamic start-up; your ideas will more likely be taken into consideration. But even if they won’t be applied in the way you intended, your contribution will earn you respect.


Contribute with thoughtfully mapped out projects. Prove your value by turning in carefully finished assignments. Don’t hesitate to get your hands dirty with any given task and show your creativity by coming up with serious ideas to make your company even more successful. Prepare yourself for the final two weeks. They will be over before you know it!


We’re in the second to last week in the program. The end of your internship is just around the corner!

Many of you would hope that your internship will turn into a full-time position. Here are a few ways to tell if you’ve been making serious impacts at your company, making you indispensable to them.


Caroline Ceniza-Levine, Career Expert and Contributing Writer for Forbes, says that there is a mathematical way to tell if you’ve truly made an impact at your company.

Here’s how it works: In 2015, the Financial times conducted a survey to find out the Top 100 revenue generating companies in the world. Expert Market followed up on this research by compiling a list of the Top 10 companies in the world with the most valuable employees. The more money one employee makes for a company, the more valuable they are. By putting a company’s number of staff in context with its revenue, the efficiency of each staff member is more easily comparable across the board of all businesses.

As an example: The average revenue per employee at Philipps 66 is an astounding $11.5m, with an overall revenue of more than $161 Billion and only 14,000 employees. Compared to this number, Google and Apple don’t perform that well, their averages are $1.15m per employee and 1.87m per employee respectively, according to Business Insider. Taking only tech companies into account, Apple and Google are the top two, followed by Softbank and Microsoft.

To find out the average impact of each employee at your company, divide revenue by number of staff. You likely won’t compare with the tech giants; try to figure out the same figure for your company’s competitors.


You may think: ‘I am an intern; how do I increase my company’s earnings?’ Naturally, it’s easier to calculate your personal contribution to the firm if you are in sales, for instance. But even if you intern in consulting, nonprofit, editorial or other industries that aren’t as tied to numbers as sales, it’s important to analyze your performance.

Remember that making yourself aware of the impact you’ve made at your company has several benefits to it.

Firstly, your contribution to the company’s success will impress your supervisor, therefore getting you closer to a job offer.

Secondly, you can put information like this onto your resume. Instead of writing down ‘fluff’, you should be able to add tangible contributions and achievements.

Pinning a number to something is always useful. If you’re in PR, figure out by what number you increased coverage for your clients. If you’re in Writing, you can also outline how many articles you’ve written.

If you’re looking for more advice on how to write the perfect CV, check out our ultimate CV guide or our post on what to take away from CI’s CV Surgery.


Not sure about the impact that you made? Make this your final project. CI advises every intern on the program to give a final presentation at their company. By making yourself and your company aware of your achievements, you will be able to leave your internship on a high, but you’ll also have proof of your improved skillset, industry knowledge and analytical ability.

Here are a few ideas on what to include into your final presentation:

  1. Your SWOT Analysis from CI’s Company & Market Analysis, the People & Productivity session (do you have a need for Power, Achievement or Affiliation?) and the balance sheets you built in Money Matters I & II.
  2. A collation of all assignments you got done, put into context with your industry knowledge and learned soft and hard skills.
  3. Make sure your company knows that you want to stay on, be it an internship extension or a full-time position.

Calculate your company’s average revenue per employee and compare this number to your personal performance. Prepare your final presentation by bringing all your achievements together.

Make yourself aware of the impact you’ve made on your company’s success and be proud of it! With only one week left, now is the time to have a look back as you start to look ahead.


It’s already the last week of the program. Now it’s time to reap the rewards of your continued efforts. Week Eight also marks the time of CI’s Host Company Mixer and CV drop-in, both events that shouldn’t be missed.

With only one week left, you should be determined to take the last few steps to get the best out of your internship. Here’s how to do it.


It’s always great to be praised, so give CI’s end of program Appraisal to your supervisor to find out how you performed in comparison to the program’s halfway point. Getting feedback is always useful, and this has two benefits.

Firstly, you can leave your internship on a high after finding out which of your traits your supervisor appreciates the most. You can continue working on the skills you haven’t mastered yet.

Secondly, your supervisor will be aware of your impact on the company once they fill out an appraisal for you. Read here what the appraisal entails.


You should also take the initiative to ask your supervisor for a feedback session, if they haven’t scheduled one for you yet. This can be combined with the end-of-program appraisal and is probably going to be one of your last chances to sit down with your supervisor one-on-one. Make sure to prepare yourself well for this meeting: What do you really want them to take away from having you as an intern, what were the tasks that you enjoyed most? This interaction is going to be a two-way-street, a chance for both of you to reflect on your impact as an intern and your place in the company.


When finishing an internship, make sure that all the projects you started are complete by the end of it. This also means that you will have to plan ahead a little.

At the start of the last week, take a look at the assignments you started and how far along you are with them now.

If you need to take on fewer tasks throughout the week to be able to finish everything, let your supervisor know as soon as possible. It is better to complete everything and hand it in on time than to start 10 different things and having to hand them over to your co-workers or the next intern.

If you can’t avoid leaving a big project unfinished, make sure that you come up with a guide on how to complete it, so that it can be easily taken care of, once you’re gone.


When I ended my internship last year, Becca, my mentor, actually threw a little farewell party for me at the office, where I was given a card signed by every staff member and a gift to take back to Germany. I couldn’t have been happier and I really felt appreciated in that moment.

Aim at making a memory like that as well by asking your supervisor – or the entire team – out for a drink to celebrate your internship. You can also take them to CI’s Host Company Mixer to connect with them there. Remember, this doesn’t have to be your last interaction. Staying in touch with your host company might take you places you can’t even imagine yet.


What are your plans for the fall? Are you going back to school or are you going to start applying for jobs? Whatever it is, start seriously thinking about your next steps. Don’t hesitate to reach out to as many contacts as possible, if you’re planning on starting an entry-level position soon.

If you’re going back to college, take all your learnings from your internship into consideration and transfer them to an academic setting. Joanna, marketing intern at a beauty tech start-up, told me about acing all her classes last year when she went back to school after an internship last summer. You can do the same!


Hand in your appraisal form. Schedule a feedback session with your supervisor to reflect on your impact. Complete all your projects and hand them in. Make a lasting memory by sharing a drink with your colleagues for the last time (maybe at CI’s Host Company Mixer?). Look to the future! What’s coming next?

We’ve come to the end point of this series. I hope I was able to guide you throughout the program, if you are a CI intern or give you an impression of what it’s like to be on a CI program, if you’re interested in becoming one.

Interning with CI is entirely different to an ordinary internship and I’m happy I was able to take part in this in 2016. Coming back as a Program Assistant Summer 2017 was very rewarding and I’m glad I was able to take this opportunity. Thanks for reading!

If you’re reading as a soon-to-be college graduate who would like to learn more about our programs, click here to browse our website or you can head straight to the application form.