Feel like a fish out of water at your internship?


Whether you are hoping to turn your internship into a full-time opportunity, or you simply want to ensure that you secure a recommendation from your manager after your internship concludes, here are some tips to help you stand out…


Be Positive

Approach every project that is assigned to you with a “can do” attitude.  As an intern, you may be asked to perform tasks that seem tedious…but you still need to complete these assignments accurately and thoroughly!  Once you prove yourself, chances are high that more rewarding, interesting projects will land on your desk.  You may encounter challenges during your internship experience, but being enjoyable to work with will go a long way.  Remember, people spend a lot of time at work and they prefer to be surrounded by others who are pleasant to be around!


Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Everyone worries about asking dumb questions, but employers actually expect interns to have a lot of questions!  If you have a question that you truly can’t figure out the answer to on your own, it is far preferable to ask a colleague for help than to not ask and make a critical or costly mistake.  When asking questions, do ask the right person.  For example, if you are a Finance Intern, the friendly Marketing Associate who sits near you may not be the best person to answer your question.  And, be sure to avoid asking repetitive questions (see below).


Listen carefully and take notes

Listening carefully and taking notes usually goes hand-in-hand with asking questions.  Always have a notepad ready so you can jot down key details.  Your manager and colleagues are happy to help, but they will definitely appreciate you taking notes so they don’t have to answer repetitive questions.  Having notes easily accessible will help you complete future tasks accurately and more efficiently.  It is also a great way for you to keep track of what you accomplish during your internship (think ease of updating your resume!), and your notes may be even be used as a resource for future interns.


Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series next week…



By MaryEllen Ryan
MaryEllen Ryan Senior Associate Director, Undergraduate Career Development, Pulsifer Career Development Center MaryEllen Ryan