Landing an internship is a HUGE win. It’s a great opportunity to cut your teeth in the workplace and you should congratulate yourself on getting ahead in the very competitive internship market. At worst, any internship is a learning experience and at best, it’s the first step to proving yourself at your dream company and will hopefully result in a full-time job offer!
Most internships aren’t paid. This means that spending your time and effort for to help the business shows a lot of dedication on your part. If you can use this positive starting point to then display a willingness to learn, promote teamwork and display a ‘can do’ attitude’, then by the end of your internship the company would be crazy to not consider you for the next internal opportunity that arises.
Here are some top tips on how to make the most of an internship and land a job offer;
1. Dress the Part
You’ve likely heard the term ‘Fake it till you make it’, and an internship is an ideal time to put this into practice. Even if you aren’t fully on the professional ladder yet, there’s no reason not to look like you are! Ensure that your clothes are consistent with what your colleagues are wearing and don’t be tempted to dress down just because you aren’t meeting clients. Taking pride in your appearance will go a long way to showing your manager that you are prepared to step up later.
2. Be an Early Bird
Getting in early shows you’re serious about what you’re doing. This isn’t ‘face time’, since most people are probably not in yet. More realistically it’s the extra preparation time you’ll need in order to make the most of the day ahead. You’ll feel a lot calmer and in control if you allow yourself time to settle in before the day kicks off. Likewise, don’t be a clock-watcher who is first out the door. Finish your tasks, go the extra mile and it will be well worth it.
3. Be Humble
Even if you feel, even if you KNOW you are killing this internship, don’t let your ego spin out of control. Staying humble really is the best way forward. In real life, top performers are often just that because of the hard work of the team around them. Show awareness of that from an early stage and everyone’s view on you is likely to be far more positive.
4. Be Proactive
Don’t sit back and expect opportunities to just come to you. Some companies give out but don’t have the time to provide the ideal learning experience. You may also be left to your personal devices, which might seem daunting at the start, but is actually a blessing in disguise. Ask what you can do to help. Take the initiative and suggest tasks that you could carry out to add genuine value.
5. Be Positive
When it comes down to it, the ‘Can do’ attitude I mentioned in the opening paragraph is really the key. Don’t make the mistake of treating an internship like ‘extra work’. Treat it like the great opportunity it is! Good luck.