Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Getting the Most From Your Internship

Since my Sophomore year of high school, I have always had at least one internship. From all of these experiences, I have gotten my share of coffees in addition to getting my share of feedback from managers. From those experiences and feedback, I have come up with a few things that can set you apart from the rest and allow you to amaze your boss.

  1. Work hard- Although this might seem like a silly thing to lead with, there is nothing more powerful than hard work. Your boss/manager has been around the block and knows who is working and who is just checking Facebook in the bathroom. Bringing your best and hardest working self to everything you do. The recognition will come.
  2. First one in, last one out- At every office, there are early risers and night owls, these are the people you want to impress. By meeting the early risers in the morning and saying goodbye to the night owls at night, will you show the hard workers that you too are here to play hardball. Time in the office although not directly correlated with hard work is still a good indicator.
  3. Keep track of tasks- As you show your abilities during your internship, you will become more and more popular with getting tasks from people who are not your direct boss. DO ALL THE TASKS. I have tried to embody Jim Kerry’s character from Yes Man, say yes to everything. Using a tool like Trello or Monday will help you keep track of what everyone has given you throughout the week. These tools will also act as a journal of what you accomplished every week.
  4. Take notes of everything- There nothing worse than someone who says, “I don’t need to take notes, I’ll remember it.” This is hubris and will lead to you forgetting things and looking bad. I always keep a small notebook with me and write everything down. I even offer to take notes in meetings, I get the fantastic opportunity of being in the same room with amazing people, and they get a transcript of the conversation. A win-win.
  5. Get face time with your boss- Similar to my note about optics, your boss will only know as much as people tell them, they see, or from your reports. Although information from the grapevine is excellent, speaking directly to your boss with reporting on the week and receiving feedback is critical. Maybe even more than just getting feedback, getting face time with your boss is such a critical time to speak with someone doing what you want to do. Understanding how this person gets in their position can be one of the most important conversations you can have.
  6. Take advantage of extracurriculars- Lastly, your internship is not only 9:00am-6:30pm, it is so much more than that. Going to networking events or events, in general, can be a great time to talk with coworkers and people from other companies. Seeing all that is out there and learning from experts will get you ahead.

I hope this advice was helpful. Above anything, remember that you are there to have fun. Make friends, enjoy good food, and make sure to go to the beach, it is summer after all.