Internships are valuable and educational opportunities to get your foot in the door and gain experience in the career of your choice. Often interns have the chance to transition to employment.
How do you get to the point where an employer notices you enough to open yourself up to bigger opportunities potentially? Standing out as an intern might seem like a challenge, especially those working remotely still, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are four ways you can stand out as an intern and take your career to the next level.
Be kind and helpful
The truth is, internships don’t always mean that you’re doing particular tasks that relate to the job or career you’re interested in. Often, internships involve doing little administrative tasks and generally being of assistance to people in various ways. The best thing you can do as an intern is to always be willing to help and treat employees with kindness and respect when asked to assist with things. Being an intern isn’t necessarily a glamorous thing all the time, but to stand out, you should be willing to help as much as possible.
Treat it like a job
An internship, even one that isn’t paid, is something you do because you want experience. So you should treat an internship the same way you’d treat a job and have the same level of motivation and determination you would if you were being paid a salary. Internships can be challenging at times, and even feel tedious, but that’s part of employment as well. If you treat your internship with the same level of attention and care that you would a job, you’ll undoubtedly stand out to a potential employer.
Don’t be afraid to share ideas
One of the best ways you can stand out as an intern is to speak up when you have an idea or something to contribute that you feel valuable. While interning can often feel very task-oriented, it doesn’t mean it has to be solely that. You should feel comfortable collaborating when appropriate and putting forth ideas when there are projects in the works or discussions being had about new initiatives. If you have an idea you think is great, present it to your colleagues. You’d be surprised at how far that will take you.
Network, network, network
In an internship, there’s probably no better way to make an impression than to network with your colleagues and involve yourself in workshops, conventions, or any other industry events that other employees might be attending. This shows initiative, and it also gives you the connections you’ll most certainly need to make the most of your internship and open the right kind of doors. Networking can also happen online, connecting with fellow employees on LinkedIn and engaging with them and the people they’re engaging with. Making connections is often the most important thing you can do to help your career, whether in person or online. Use the leverage you have as an intern to take advantage of any opportunity you might have to meet key people and advance your career.
— Article by Sean Kelly. In addition to being an analyst researching the latest industry trends for College Recruiter, Sean Kelly also co-founded a nonprofit local news publication in Savannah, GA called The Savannahian.