Whether you’re interning from home or relocating to NYC for the summer, it’s likely you’re gearing up for 10 weeks of learning, networking and exploring. Internships are more than just another bullet point on your resume; they’re an amazing way to discover what you want out of your career. Additionally, they’re a great way to guarantee job security after college. In fact, 71% of college graduates who interned in college were able to find full-time employment after graduation, according to Gallup. If you really want to rock out your summer internship and get the most of your experience, here are 16 shining qualities you need to be superstar interns.
1. Show up ready to learn. Wanna impress the boss? Soak up every nugget of knowledge he or she has to offer, ask lots of questions and take notes. This thirst for knowledge will make you stand out from the other interns.
2. Arrive 15 minutes early for everything. Ever heard of the rule, “If you’re not five minutes early, you’re late?” Well, this definitely applies to your internship. Even if your boss rolls into work 15 minutes late every day, make sure you’re always early and prepared to work.
3. Be resourceful. You’re going to have lots of learning curves as a new intern, but it’s important to search for answers before immediately asking your boss. You might surprise yourself with the solutions you find on your own.
4. Have an upbeat and professional attitude. It’s soooo important to be an approachable and friendly intern. Even if you feel a little overwhelmed by the projects or meetings, a positive, can-do attitude won’t go unnoticed.
5. Make relationships with your coworkers. The most valuable part of your internship will be the relationships you make. Take time to eat lunch with the other interns or grab coffee with a coworker.
6. Document your experience and accomplishments. Throughout your internship, expect to have a few touch-base meetings with your boss to talk about your progress. By documenting your accomplishments, it’ll be easier for you to show your manager the value you’ve added to the team.
7. Never turn down the opportunity to learn and grow. Most internship programs offer abundant learning opportunities. If your boss invites you to a luncheon or suggests an industry-related book for you to read, take advantage of these ways to learn new things.
8. Brainstorm creative ideas to pitch to your boss. Never hesitate to share your creative ideas with your boss. Especially if it can help you be more productive or offer a new solution for the department, speak up about your ideas. Who knows? You might be given more opportunities to take on bigger projects.
9. Become irreplaceable. The objective of most internships is to seal a job offer at the end. Show your manager that you’d be impossible to replace because of your excellent work ethic and passion for their organization.
10. Take your boss out for coffee. One-on-one time with your boss is so important. This is your opportunity to pick their brain and establish a genuine relationship. You can also gain some valuable career advice and learn about their journey to success.
11. Be dependable. Superstar interns are incredibly dependable. Be an employee your boss can count on to complete projects, take on new assignments and show up on time.
12. Find a mentor. Reach out to someone within the organization whom you admire and establish a relationship with them. Ask to schedule a meeting where you can chat about your position and your goals and learn more about your mentor’s experience. This relationship will help you grow as a young professional.
13. Ask for feedback. The key to growth and development is continuous feedback. Actively seek input from your manager about your performance to ensure you’re on track for success.
14. Love the hustle. Prove to yourself anything is possible during your internship. Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond, or take on a new project that is outside of your comfort zone. Go the extra mile by volunteering at work events or lending a hand to your coworkers. Your hustle will definitely make you stand out as a superstar intern.
15. End the internship with a handwritten thank-you note. One of the most memorable ways to conclude an internship is to give your boss a handwritten thank-you note. This is much more personal than an email or typed letter.
16. Stay in touch with your boss and coworkers. Just because your internship is over doesn’t mean the relationships come to a screeching halt. Stay in touch with your coworkers through email or LinkedIn, and even Facebook if you created a strong bond. These professionals will serve as valuable contacts (especially for letters of recommendation) for the rest of your career.
What do you hope to accomplish during your summer internship? Tell us in the comments below!
(Photo via Omar Havana/Getty)