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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How to succeed in your internship

Internship success hinges on doing a job in the best possible way
Employee handbooks and corporate policy detail important rules
By Ella Gray

In today’s competitive business environment, it is not enough to simply obtain one of the top internships in NYC.  Instead you must perform well while you are an intern to really make yourself stand out.  This opens yourself up to a potential job offer at the end of your internship, and it also helps you gain more skills that are valued in the workplace.  Since the idea of business and finance careers might seem foreign and overwhelming to you as a student, these suggestions can help you understand how to best succeed in your endeavors.

Show up

First, make sure to show up everyday.  This simple act requires more than just walking in the door.  Instead, you should plan to get to work early.  You should also be in the right mental state.  Therefore, avoid partying too late at night if it is going to cause you to be too tired to concentrate during the workday.  In addition, when you attend meetings, be engaged.  Take notes, ask questions, and participate.  All of this will demonstrate that you want to do more than simply complete the internship for your resume.

Follow the rules

It is especially important to abide by the company guidelines.  The most obvious will be the dress code.  As an intern, you might not have the clothes required for the job.  This is not an excuse to dress down.  Instead, you should figure out how to look appropriate at work everyday.  Also, when it comes to your lunches, never take a longer break than you should.  Many interns who are working for free assume that they have this luxury.  After all, the company is not paying them.  However, when you do not follow the company’s rules, it reflects poorly on you.  It is important to remember that this is an opportunity for you to learn from the company.  Therefore, you should always respect the company’s rules regardless of your situation.


Furthermore, remember to listen during your internship.  This is the best way to learn from others.  If you are constantly talking and wondering how to take advantage of the system, you will never learn.  The interns that gain the most from their jobs are the ones who are the most humble.  They want to listen to what others have to say because they realize the benefit that can come from that.

Turn off your phone

In order to focus during your job, you should turn off your phone.  This is a major distraction for many interns.  Several of them use their phones throughout the day to connect with friends because they are bored.  Whenever you are bored, you should ask for more work to do.  Your proactive approach will impress your superiors.  If they do not have anything for you to do, you can always spend your time learning more about the company.  This activity is much better than spending time on your phone.  It will look better to those around you and help you to grow as an intern.

In addition to all of these suggestions, make sure to work hard everyday.  When you do that, it is easy to experience the success you are seeking from your internship and promote the best future for yourself.

About the author: Please feel free to contact Ella Gray at any time with questions at ella.l.gray@gmail.com.

Image license: Missy Schmidt, CC BY 2.0