Working hard at your internship sounds pretty obvious, but it needs to be said. Show up on time and don’t take extended coffee or lunch breaks. Be diligent and efficient, and complete every task that is assigned to you to the best of your ability (even if it’s tedious!). Before leaving each day, ask your supervisor or colleagues if there is anything else that needs to be done. Don’t be that intern who is more concerned with walking out the door at 4:59pm than completing your work!
If you have completed a project and are waiting for your next assignment, take some initiative! Ask your colleagues if you can help them with anything. A few summers ago, I worked with an intern who consistently offered assistance when he was between projects. Even though he was an Investment Research intern and usually worked on complex, interesting and challenging assignments, he wasn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves and help with general administrative duties (think scanning, filing, organizing mass mailings…kind of boring, right?!). He saved senior employees a lot of time and made their lives easier – and they appreciated and remembered that!
Network, network, network…and then network some more!
Ask your colleagues to coffee or lunch, or simply set up 15 minutes to chat with them if they’re willing. Remember that intern I mentioned who always asked if he could help? He also made a point to sit down with almost every person in the office to learn more about their roles. Granted it was a small office, but you get the point! In doing so, he learned about different functional areas within the company, but perhaps even more importantly, he started expanding his professional network. People really got to know and like him, and as result, they were more than willing to introduce him to contacts in their networks. As it turned out, this intern was so impressive that he was offered a full-time position at the end of the summer. SUCCESS!
Stay tuned next week for my final thoughts…