Internships are scary. No matter where you do it, how you got it, it is scary. You meet new people; you work fix hours, you have standards and rules and more rules you need to respect. People can be friendly to you, or people can be mean to you…it all depends on you.
I am 21. I have done two big mandatory internships set by my university and a few smaller ones, just to get accustomed with the experience, to understand if what I am pursuing suits me. I am currently in my last one, where I am doing Sales.
It has been an exciting ride. During these six months, I have learned a lot. I have been observant and eager to jump in and help everyone because it is the only way you can actually learn by experiencing it first-hand.
I have put together five tips on how you can get a job after your internship and how you can make a good impression. This is just how I have done it; it doesn’t mean you must take everything literally. But, sometimes, it can be helpful to have some advice from the inside.
I cannot stress this enough. Listen listen listen. Listen when your supervisor or manager is explaining to you what you need to do or how you do it so that you can understand the whole reason behind it. It is also essential as you will remember what he/she said when you are completing your task.
However, there is another type of listen, which is the most important one. Listen around you. Everyone in an office is taking to other people, complaining or not, discussing situations they are facing and how to resolve them. It is so crucial to be observant so that you can see how they deal with this kind of situations because most probably you will have to deal with the same ones in your next job.
Listening is learning.
Now you may think that listen and observe are the same things. Which most of the time, they are. What I mean through observe is that you need to be alert all the time. Observe how your director is talking, what they are saying, how they are transmitting the information. Observe the interaction, see their facial expression. Sometimes people give away a lot through their faces.
3. Work hard
This should come without any explanations. Work hard. Sometimes it can be exhausting, but remember this is only temporary and either if you come back to university either if you look for a permanent job, the impression you made will last. Ask if you can help other people, be eager to say “ I can do it” and just be there for people. They will appreciate it, and you will learn. Don’t be afraid to be exposed to different tasks or situations; that’s how you grow.
Attention to detail is also something I have learned throughout my internships. Whenever anyone is complaining about other departments or other people is usually because their work does not reflect that they actually paid attention to detail. I have learned from my manager to double check everything, triple check every email because human error is natural and normal, but we need to show that we actually cared.
4. Ask for feedback
A lot of people, even my friends, they don’t ask for feedback during their internships. They believe that the manager should be the one to come to them and be “hey, let’s have a talk about your performance” which usually it doesn’t happen. People are busy. But you should be the one to come to them and ask if they have 5 minutes to talk about your performance. It will be good for them to see that you are interested in your job and their opinion. Don’t be afraid to hear constructive criticism because that is how you will do better in your future employment.
5. Make friends
This comes with no surprise. It is like in every job, you will make some friends and some connections you will keep maybe even a lifetime. There will be people you connect with instantly. And people you won’t. But be friendly. Have a funny talk with your colleagues, discuss interests, be present. It is crucial because if they like you, they will help you more. They will be eager to give you insights and tips. They will recommend you when a new job arises. They will keep you informed.
To sum up, there are a lot of ways you can ace your internship and get a job after. But what I have learned is those five tips I have shared with you. They might not come as a surprise to you, but it is quite hard to be able to do all of them. Sometimes, we bury ourselves in our tasks, sometimes we are too shy to ask for feedback, but it is important to make sure that your supervisors know how much you value your job. And whatever you do, pay attention to details and try your best to do your job right. And I guarantee you that you will be asked about a future position in the company or why not, somewhere else.
Don’t forget that impressions last a lifetime. Don’t think that if you start on the wrong foot and then improve and get better, people will forget about the beginning because it’s not the case. Make sure you start right, humble, eager to learn and everything will be secure from there. Beginnings are always hard, but it is our “job” to create the best impression of ourselves to other people.
The biggest takeaway from this post is that you sell yourself every day during your internship. Make sure you do yourself, justice.