So you decided what you wanted to be when you grew up. Following graduation you applied for an internship since that was the fast track to your future career. It’s supposed to give you real world experience but you’re stuck getting coffees and lattes for your coworkers. Here’s how to make the most of the most important building block to your career.
Every intern has the power to turn a temporary gig into a full job as long as you follow these suggestions on how to impress during your internship.
Don’t Be Late
Your arrival at the office is always noticed by someone and sets the tone for the day. By being the first to the office and the last to leave you show commitment to the company itself.
Dress To Impress
The attire of which you wear to the office daily should reflect whatever category your business uses. The 3 main wardrobe categories are Business Casual, Business Creative, and Business Corporate. This tip seems so insignificant but makes a huge impact on the intern’s overall fit with the company itself.
Start up and tech companies are usually business casual. Fashion agencies and media companies tend to use business creative as the fashion trends change rapidly. Law, finance and corporate offices use Business Corporate. Determine which category your company falls under. Then up it two notches. Dress for the position you aspire to be in someday, not the one you have. Iron your shirt collars, do not wear jeans, and keep yourself groomed in a professional manner at all times.
Keep Your Social Media Presence In Check
It’s important to have a strong social media presence but be discreet in your postings and web presence. If under 21 do not upload a pic of you drinking alcohol. If over 21, it’s ok to have one alcoholic drink in your hand.
Do not post any pics or say anything that may defame your character or the character of others. This goes for any form of social media. Even though the accounts may be private, companies still find out about their employees’ actions.
And remember, if your mother wouldn’t approve, don’t post it. A few likes and a couple laughs aren’t worth ruining your professional career.
Put your phone away. You are being paid to work not to text all your friends, less your job requires for you to use your personal phone, put it in your pocket if you’re a guy or put it in your purse, if you’re a girl, till after your shift.
Ask for clarification if you are confused about a particular assignment. Your supervisors know that you do not know everything about how the company works; curiosity in the business will earn you admiration among your superiors. This is especially true if you would like to become a full time employee of the company you are interning at. Companies hire within to save time and training costs. Soak up as much knowledge as you can. Use it to your advantage. Remember time equals money so use it appropriately.
Check in with your immediate supervisor anytime you complete a task. Scheduling periodic reviews to see where you can improve on will show the employer you have serious initiative. This is a particular attribute employers yearn for from their employees. Volunteer for any task no matter what. You may get bonus points if you volunteer for anything other interns hesitated on. You may end up with a mentor who will inspire you on your way up the corporate ladder.
Stay in contact with the connections you’ve made, as well as your fellow interns following the end of your internship. Networking is a great way to help advance your career. You never know who may help you out or where one of the contacts you’ve established will go.
Write Handwritten Notes
It may seem outdated, even old fashioned, but it isn’t. Did you gain insight from someone at the top of your company? Thank them for their time. Thank everyone for their guidance, assistance and patience with you after your internship comes to an end.
Write thank you notes. Include anecdotes and instances of how they inspired you. Leaving with a good impression is as important as beginning with one.
These tips will help you make an impression that will set you towards a meaningful future in your chosen field. Internships are hard enough, give yourself a hand up. Impressions are the first thing and the most lasting resonance about someone that people notice.