National Intern Day: How to be the best intern

National Intern Day: How to be the best intern

Magnetme, Pexels©

It’s National Intern Day, a day dedicated to celebrating and recognising the importance of interns who are trying to get their foot in the door and are working toward their dream careers. This awareness day was created by WayUp in 2017, to encourage companies to appreciate their hard working interns, and to ultimately give them the recognition they truly deserve. 

To celebrate and raise awareness of National Intern Day we have created a list of ways you can be the best intern and to make the most out of this great opportunity:

1. Know your company

Before starting your internship, it is of paramount importance that you have a clear understanding of your company, what it does, its employees, vision, and ethos. You can do this by looking at the company website – most companies usually have an ‘About Us’ section, or even a page dedicated to their values and ethos. Make sure you check out the company’s various social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, and take a look on LinkedIn – you may find you can explore a little about who you will be working with. 

2.  Set goals

A great intern establishes both short and long-term goals for their internship. Your short-term goals could detail what you wish to achieve in the first week/early stages of your internship – such as establishing new relationships and adjusting to your new workplace environment. The long-term goals could be to gain new skills, contacts, and experience that will ultimately benefit your long-term career plan and aspirations.

3.  Be flexible 

It is important to be flexible as an intern and to try and go above and beyond to ensure that you stand out. This may involve being prepared to work a little longer, or to be willing to help and contribute to a range of tasks in various departments/areas of the company. Although this may involve making coffee or basic administrative or filing tasks, these will show your commitment to the company and your team. 

However, it is still important that there is a balance and that you get the skills you need out of the internship. If you are concerned about the longevity of these tasks, or believe that you are not gaining the experience you had been promised, you should speak to a supervisor to outline what is expected of you and what you are expecting to gain. This will ensure you are getting the most out of this placement and therefore gaining the relevant skills and experience that will benefit your professional career in the long-term. 

4.   Be organised 

Being organised is very important in the workplace and will not only make your life easier by allocating your time efficiently – but this will also have a positive impact on your colleagues and their workload. If you plan your time effectively, you can save time and ensure you are prioritising the most important tasks. It can also help the flow of communication between you and your team and will also increase your productivity and decrease your stress levels.

Alexander Suhorucov, Pexels©

 5.  Build relationships and network with your colleagues 

All great interns utilise the opportunity to build relationships with their colleagues and supervisors – not only will it keep you in the loop in the office but it will also help you with networking. By developing professional relationships, it will give you a chance to learn from your colleagues, who will have great skills and experience that you can learn from, and industry contacts that will enable you to advance in your field.

6.  Ask for feedback

Asking for feedback on your performance is a great way to have a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. Not only will you know what you have been successful at during your internship, but it will give you an opportunity to improve your professional skill set and to become the best version of yourself. 

7. Be enthusiastic!

A great way to ensure success as an intern is to show your enthusiasm and motivation in the workplace. This will not only make you stand out and display your passion and willingness to learn and work with your colleagues and for your company. It will also spread happiness and positive energy, boost morale, and will have a positive impact on the company. It is also a great way to show the company that you love what you do, and show how you are seeking a full-time job when your internship ends.

Hopefully this list will help you ensure success, showcase your skills, and will enable you to be the best intern you can possibly be.

Good luck!

You might be interested in:

How to prepare for an internship in journalism

How to choose a great mentor

Specialisms: What are they and how do I decide mine?