It’s July 1st — internships are half-completed for many of you. Have you made the most of your internship experience? Did you stand out? Do you think you will get a return offer? Whether you answered “yes” or “no” to these questions, you still have the opportunity to maximize your summer. Do these 4 things to stand out the next time you step into the office:
1. Get Involved
As an intern, you have the opportunity to be as visible or invisible as you want. If you want more challenges, ask your boss or coworkers. Having some difficulty on your projects? Raise your hand and get help. Communication is key if you want to get noticed. As you work, take note of documents, worksheets, or processes that frustrate you or that you don’t understand. These are objects you can use as personal projects, make improvements, and submit at the end of the internship. This really shows initiative and the desire to be part of the team.
2. Have Lunch
Lunch is the perfect time to network. People want to meet you, but you must show interest in meeting them as well. Invite your teammates, your boss, and your boss’s boss to lunch. Connect through conversations about personal and professional interests. Ask the person you just met to introduce you to someone else that you might want to know. Use LinkedIn to add your new connections and track your networking progress.
3. Ask Questions
Always come into the office with questions about the project, the industry, or the company. Develop intelligent questions from the news, research papers, and reports. For example, PwC and Deloitte publish industry reports every quarter or year. Questions allow you to explore your potential career, determine what is right for you, and impress those around you.
4. Ask for Constructive Feedback
Constructive feedback is the fastest way to learn during an internship. Asking for feedback shows maturity, humility, and the desire to improve. You can get feedback in a formal meeting with a boss, or during quick chat during the day. Before setting a formal meeting with your boss, think about your internship goals and feedback criteria. Relay your goals to your boss when you set a time for your feedback session. Consider using an evaluation form (entrepreneur.com has many resources) to bring structure to feedback. As you receive feedback, make it a conversation about your accomplishments so far, your goals, and the next steps to reach success.
Remember, an internship is as worthwhile as you want it to be. Do these 4 things and make the most of your internship experience!