During your internship, make an effort to stand out from the rest.
Experience is something that every employer looks for when hiring someone, and internships are a great way to fill your resume with relevant experience. Many companies hire a large group of interns or just a small team, but either way, standing out is always important — no matter how many people are your fellow interns.
• Be proactive. No internship coordinator wants to see his or her interns just sitting around chatting or browsing Facebook. Instead, you should see if anyone needs an extra hand with anything. Don’t be afraid to seem annoying — he or she will most likely be glad you offered to help.
• Always be prepared. Carrying a pen and a notebook around is a great way to make sure you’re organized and ready for anything. In meetings, taking notes — even if it doesn’t seem like you need to — shows that you care.
• Dress to impress. Remember that, when in doubt, overdressing is better than underdressing. Always make sure what you wear is appropriate for the workplace (and not too revealing).
• Ask your boss or supervisor to get lunch. Discuss topics outside of the workplace so your boss can get to know you on a personal level (but remember to stick to appropriate personal-life details). You can also use this time with your boss to learn about his or her career path if it’s one you’d like to emulate.
• Make sure you do everything with a smile. That shows that you want to be there and that you are excited about the opportunity. Enthusiasm is definitely contagious.
• Speak up in meetings or groups. Sharing your thoughts with full-time employees can be intimidating, but your supervisor will remember you for it. Remember that you might be imaginative, inspired and ingenious but no one will know if you don’t speak up. However, you should evaluate the situation to make sure it’s an appropriate time to talk — there will be times when it’s best to speak up and others when you should just be observant.
• Say thank you. When your internship is over, send your internship coordinator a handwritten letter thanking him or her for the experience. Sometimes even a basket of cookies or an edible arrangement work too!
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