Internships are the key to a successful job search upon graduation. Getting real life experience while a student makes you an excellent candidate for post-graduation work. For tips on beginning the process, read this article by Allen Hall PR.
Currently, I am a communications intern for a large retail company.The scope of my responsibilities in this internship is large, with my main responsibilities being event planning and implementation and designing internal communications.
The first day at any job is hard, but it is especially so at an internship. This is the beginning of your career path and you want to make a great impression. Here are my tips for standing out as an intern, from your first day to your last.
- Do real work on your first day. On my first day as an intern, I was asked if I could help put together a video that my team was having trouble editing. My courses in school had taught me how to use basic video editing software, so I jumped at the opportunity to prove my abilities. I worked all day to edit this video and my work paid off! The video was used for internal communications in our office and an office in India. I was recognized with an award for ‘saving the day on my first day.’ By proving my worth on my first day, I made my managers feel even more confident in their decision to hire me.
- Don’t be shy. It is so easy to be a wallflower and stay at your desk. Don’t do it! Eat lunch in the break room with the other employees and attend all work events. By creating relationships with many coworkers, you are building a valuable network.
- Get involved. I attend daily meetings with my team. At first, I wanted to be quiet and observe. But I challenged myself to get involved and inject my opinions into the conversation. This can be tricky, however. Make sure you aren’t stepping on anyone’s toes or being too chatty when you shouldn’t be.
- Be proactive. I don ‘t sit around and wait for more work. I am constantly researching and preparing internal communications whenever I have a free moment. You don’t ever want your boss to see you sitting at your desk staring into space.
- Be prepared for anything. Interns are often responsible for completing tasks that other employees do not have the time to do. This can make for some interesting assignments. For example, the office that I work in is undergoing construction and I am helping with interior design. We have certain chairs that will be used for our break room, but the chairs needed new caps on the legs. I was asked to call the company that manufactured the chairs (which had been out of business for a decade) and order new caps. This led to a lot of research and problem solving, but because I was prepared for anything, I learned quite a bit about chairs.
Internships are excellent opportunities for growth and learning. Make yourself known and make yourself valuable.
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