Securing a summer internship is a great way to gain skills and experience during your time off from school. It is also an excellent way make connections within your industry and maybe even find a job after graduation. But in order for that to happen, you’ll need to make sure you leave a lasting impression on your coworkers and superiors!
Your boss doesn’t expect you to know everything; in fact, they know you are there to learn. By demonstrating that you’re dedicated to soaking up as much information as you can, employers will see that not only are you a hard worker, but that you are also passionate about the job, the industry, and their company. Makailyn, a hiring expert from Textron, suggests “To utilize the experience as much as possible, make sure you ask a lot of questions! Really try to dig deep and understand how your company works. You can also ask what makes someone a good leader or qualities they value in employees.”1 Being curious and willing to learn is an impressive quality and will certainly leave an impression on your internship supervisor.
Go Above and Beyond
You may only be an intern, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be willing to take on additional responsibilities. Ashlyn, a hiring expert from Worthington Industries, says “We always like to see interns coming into work with a positive attitude and eagerness to learn. If you prove that you're willing to go the extra mile and submit the best work possible, we notice that. Overall just being positive and taking on new challenges will make you stick out in your boss’s mind.”2 When hiring, companies often seek candidates that are willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. You have the opportunity to do more than tell them how hardworking you are; you can show them. If you want to stand out as a star intern in your supervisor’s mind, make an effort to always go above and beyond.
Network, Network, Network
Gaining skills and experience is a vital component of internships, but the connections you make during this time may be even more important to you in the long run. Tony, a hiring expert from Hill-Rom, says “It is very important to take time out of your day for meetings with various leaders across the company. Pick their brains and find out what drives them, why they chose this company or profession, and what steps they took to get there. Also, feel free to use this time for any constructive feedback in order to help solidify your commitment to success. This won’t go unnoticed.”3 If your internship supervisor sees that you are making time to network within the company, they will see how dedicated you are to learning and growing in the field, which is certainly impressive. Additionally, by talking with people around the company, you can leave an impression in not only the mind of your direct supervisor but also the minds of other leaders, something that may come to benefit you later on.
Getting the most out of your summer internship means more than showing up every day and checking things off of a to-do list. It means being engaged, eager to learn, and dedicated to growing in the field; showing that you embody these qualities will surely leave a lasting impression in everyone’s mind.