Be proactive during your internship.
So you've taken the steps to land your first internship. You might think that the interviewing process is over, but an internship is actually like one long interview.
An internship is more than just a footnote on your résumé—it takes drive to get the most out of it. The more you impress your supervisor, the more likely it will be that you get assigned interesting tasks, a great letter of recommendation, or even a job at the company.
You can avoid grunt work and feeling like "just an intern" by taking initiative from day one.
From the beginning
One of the best ways to rock your internship is to treat it like a real job. Here's how:
- Be on time. You should do this with any job that you have-but as an intern trying to get your foot in the door, this is especially important.
- Dress professionally. Pay attention to the clothing people in your office wear, or ask about the dress code. You will gain more respect from your co-workers if you aren't underdressed in the office.
- Do your best work. Try to go above and beyond what is asked of you. If you do a great job on simple tasks, your supervisor might decide to give you more challenging projects.
In addition to acting as a model employee, you should also look for learning opportunities whenever possible during your internship.
Seeking to learn
Don't be afraid to start a conversation with people in your office area. Ask them more about their position and the career path they took to get there.
Although it might be easier to talk to the people you work with the most, be sure to also talk to employees outside of your department. You might find that you are interested in something you didn't even know about before.
These conversations will give you a better understanding of what it takes to be successful in your field. Your supervisors and co-workers will also take note that you are seriously interested in the company...