Posted on February 19th in REACH Blog

7 Ways to Stand out During an Internship

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Submitted by Alexia Huggins, University Relations & Summer Internship Program Manager, Walgreens Corporation

How do you ensure that you make your mark and become the intern that shines, even in a virtual world?

While taking on an internship, it’s easy to blend into the background, and it’s especially easy while being virtual. Daily tasks aside, many interns face unique challenges of maintaining a memorable presence with their employer. After all, the objective of the internship is to gain job experience and to try to develop relationships within one’s given field, which will hopefully lead to landing a permanent role with the company following graduation. This, however, only can happen if an intern makes an impactful and memorable impression.

So, how do you ensure that you make your mark and become the intern that stands out? Read on to discover seven ways you can work to bring value and make a lasting impression during your summer internship.

  1. Arrive prepared and continue to prep, as if it’s one of your courses. Before you begin your internship, show initiative by contacting your manager and asking if there’s anything you can do to prepare for your first day. There may be a project you can begin to work on, start research or brush up on a skill that you might need. Taking initiative will show your manager that you are an intern that takes your new position seriously and you’re willing to go the extra mile.
  2. Get Dressed! Whether your internship is in person or remote, it is important that you are dressed appropriately for the position. Prior to your first day, contact your recruiter or manager to understand the company culture and dress code, so that you are showing up in the best way. Even if you are working virtually, getting dressed for the day helps to boost your self-esteem when you look good, even if you are the only person to see it. Plus, if you have to meet with your team or clients, you will be all dressed and ready to go, even if you are only given a moment’s notice.
  3. Get to know your manager. Every manager will have a specific work style and flow. It is important to get to know their ways of working so you will be able to better assist with project demands, thus positioning yourself as an invaluable asset to the team from the beginning of your internship. Bonus tip: Show you are invested in your experience by being proactive and asking for performance feedback along the way.
  4. When your tasks are complete, ask for more. Once your daily task list is complete, don’t just sit around! Ask for more projects – what else can you can do to serve the needs of the team or company? Showing that you have completed tasks is great. Showing that you’re ready to tackle more is even better.
  5. Don’t act like an intern – become part of the team. Rather than “acting like an intern” and merely taking tasks given to you, completing them and calling it a day, work on them like it’s your actual job. Treat your internship like it’s your permanent job and you’re part of the team. After all, for the time you are working there, you are a part of the team.
  6. Network, network, network. Just because you’re an intern doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to know everyone. In fact, it means you should get to know everyone. Talk to everyone that works at the company – both in and out of your department. Your internship is a great opportunity to get to know people in your industry, use the time during the internship to make professional connections for the future.
  7. Take all of your tasks – no matter how small – seriously. Take on tasks, no matter how small, with pride and diligence and avoid complaints at all costs. Your manager will notice if you take work seriously and do your work well and, most likely, the smaller tasks will lead to larger ones. So, as a rule, take on all tasks seriously and perform them well. You find yourself moving up the ladder in no time!