5 Ways to Stand Out in Your Internship

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Internships are great opportunities for getting your foot in the door and showing a company what you have to offer. Want to make a lasting impression and not blend into the rest of the intern crowd? Read our 5 ways to stand out in your internship!

 

1) Prepare

To hit the ground running, take time to prepare for your first day. Even if you already researched the company during your interview process, it’s still important to refresh your memory and catch up on the latest industry news. This will help you feel confident when walking in on your first day. 

Consider reaching out to your boss before your first day to see if there is anything they’d like you to complete in advance. Maybe there’s a project you can start tackling or skills you can brush up on — check out Lynda.com’s courses to refresh your skills in any area! Taking initiative will help you stand out and show your boss that you take your position seriously. 

 

2) Go above and beyond

Don’t be the intern that shows up at 9:00am and leaves right at 4:59pm. Make a lasting impression by arriving early and asking thoughtful questions throughout the day. Some interns get comfortable and settle into autopilot routines after just a few weeks. Don’t be one of them; erase your autopilot and maintain a “first-day” attitude. 

Go beyond the defined set of responsibilities and seek new learning opportunities. Exceed the job requirements by volunteering to work on difficult projects, seeking guidance from more experienced coworkers, and advancing your skills outside of work. Before you leave each day, ask your boss and coworkers if they need anything else from you. This will show that you take your job seriously and want to make the most out of the opportunity.

 

3) Dress for success

How you dress represents you and the company you work for. Make a good impression and maintain your company’s image by presenting yourself in the best light possible at all times. If your company doesn’t have a formal dress code, that doesn’t mean you can just roll out of bed and show up in ripped jeans and sneakers. 

How you dress at work will affect the image you convey to your boss, coworkers, and other employees. Ask your boss for the dress code and make sure you follow it. Remember: the office is not your college campus. It may be okay to wear leggings or shorts to class, but work is a completely different environment.

 

4) Build your network

Take time to get to know your colleagues and build quality relationships, but don’t limit your network to just one team. Network broadly and outside of your discipline. Find mentors who can teach you valuable skills and share their experiences navigating their careers. Invite them to informational interviews and get advice on your career goals. Listening to others’ experiences can help you visualize your own career path.

Attend networking events, meet-ups, and mixers at work and get to know the people within your company. Need to refresh your networking skills? Check out Braven’s networking checklist!

 

5) Actively seek feedback

Feedback can sound like an intimidating word, but it’s important to understand that feedback and criticism are not the same thing. Don’t think of it as criticism, think of it as a learning opportunity. Feedback helps us stay on track, improve our performance, and teaches us how to be better.

As an intern, you’ll most likely have a performance review after 60 to 90 days. But, don’t wait until the end of your internship to get an evaluation from your supervisor. Seek feedback in realtime to learn what you can work on and improve. This will show your boss that you’re eager to learn and succeed in your role.

 

Internships allow you to hone your skills while building new ones, network with other professionals, and build your resume. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and step outside your comfort zone. Now, it’s time to shine among your competition and make that lasting impression!