Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Find a Way to Stand Out

Learning, although the most important goal of an internship in my opinion, must be balanced with proving oneself as an excellent worker. You never know when the people you work with or for will be hiring for a full-time position that you are interested in. Also, many job applications require a reference, so in impressing the people you are interning for, you are basically ensuring yourself a good reference. The following are strategies that I used to prove my worth that could be very useful to others:

  1. Ask good questions. Some may fear sounding stupid, but I think that as long as you are asking relevant questions and not repeating them, you are making yourself look good. It shows that you care about performing quality work.
  2. Put in the extra hours. If your internship allows it, offer to stay late or show up early as much as possible. This will show that you have a strong work ethic. 
  3. Contribute in an unexpected way. Think of a way to add value in a way that no one expected you to and is highly contributory to the success of your company. At my internship, I used google maps to find pictures of a crash scene that effectively won a case for my firm. Creativity is the key to this strategy. 

In using some of the tricks outlined above, I believe that anyone could effectively stand out and reap the benefits of doing so. Besides the obvious selfish reasons for wanting to stand out, it is also very rewarding to know that, even as an intern, you are contributing to the success of a company.