Experience is the best teacher. Reading books and going to class are great ways to learn, but there’s no better teacher than life itself. Landing an internship during your college years is important because most (if not all) job recruiters look for candidates with experience. If you have an internship coming up this summer (or don’t and just want to know how to be a great intern), here are the top tips that’ll help you be memorable:
- Start working before you start working
Do research on the company before you start working there. Read about the company and the industry. Know the company’s history and culture. Figure out who works there and what they do. The Internet is a very resourceful tool these days and with it, conjure up a bunch of data on the company you’re going to work for and memorize the facts! Your future boss will recognize you for it.
- Ask questions
Your boss and colleagues won’t expect you to know everything; you’re an intern. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions! It shows you have a sincere interest in getting the job done right and are willing to learn. Eugene Ionesco, a French Romanian playwright and dramatist, once explained, “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.”
- Stay away from social media
Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook won’t miss you while you’re gone, so try to stay away at all costs! Make the most of your experience and focus on learning new skills at your internship. If notifications tend to distract you, go to your phone settings and turn off notifications while at work!
- Do more than what is expected
Work more hours than expected and provide better work than what is expected. Doing what your boss expects of you is good and all, but going above and beyond is what’s going to get you noticed, especially if you’re trying to land a job at the company later in life.
Make connections with people at the company you’ll be working for. People love to talk about themselves, so break the ice by asking them where they are from or what they do. Show a genuine interest in what they are saying and work to cultivate important relationships. Although, it is a workplace environment, so remember to keep the conversation professional!
As an intern, you’ll get a lot of work placed in your hands. Three different people could be asking you to do something all within the same time frame, so it’s important to ask employers which job should be prioritized. It’s better to speak up and ask than do the jobs in a rush.
- Ask for more
While at your internship, you should always be working. So if you’ve finished all the tasks they’ve had you do, don’t just sit around waiting for another assignment. Ask for more. What else do your employers need done? Don’t be afraid to knock on their door and figure out what else you can tackle.
An internship can be more than a 6-week endeavor; it could be the place you work at for the rest of your life. It could also be the place where you make a contact who will introduce you to your next boss, or it could just be the place you learned a bunch of new valuable tools. No matter what you took out of the experience, you will grow and become a better person because of it. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, so be prepared and give it your all. Who knows? You might just get lucky.