You jump through hurdles to secure your dream internship and finally you land it! Now, how do you make the most of it? You want to evaluate and reevaluate your own performance so that by the end, your employer is saying these things about you.
“She is always the first to volunteer.” At your internship, one student will be the first to volunteer for new projects and assignments. Make sure that individual is you. This is a quick and easy way to show that you take initiative. It also shows that you don’t mind doing the less glamorous tasks.
“She is alert.” When your employer calls your name, give your undivided attention. Unless you are preoccupied with another assignment, you should go right over to him, look alive, friendly, attentive, and even excited – and have a pen and paper with you. To show your dedication, take notes. Never roll your eyes or look frustrated when an employer asks you to do a task.
“When I give her tasks, she is ready to fulfill them.” Any time an employer assigns you work, listen to everything he says, and then ask questions. Take pride in your work and go the extra mile to let the employer know this is a priority for you.
“I trust her.” As an intern, you handle paperwork and overhear confidential matters. Just to be safe, keep all of the company information private. Don’t gossip about who your company represents, badmouth any clients, or talk about financial information. If people in the organization feel they can’t trust you, they will let you go. Keep in mind that trust isn’t always associated with confidential information or paperwork – it applies to all of your actions.
“She knows what she’s accomplished.” Write out your achievements. Keep track of all of the tasks that you’ve done. If you communicate with your boss through emails, checking “sent” emails is a great way to do this. Make a quick list of the tasks you’ve accomplished and next to each, write down what you’ve learned. For example, if you helped fact-check at a publication, you dealt with cold-calling, phone etiquette, and communicating with different types of people.
– Adapted with permission from All Work, No Pay: Finding and Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections, and Gaining Job Experience by Lauren Berger, Ten Speed Press, 2012.