My set of tasks I strive to achieve as a newbie in any company is what I like to refer to as “Mission Intern-able”**. Why do I have these? And why do I recommend that you should follow them too? That is because I guarantee that you will start on the right foot if you do so. These steps create a comfortable environment for you by helping you to allow your new surroundings and what is expected of you.
Learn what it is the company does and how you can drive it forward!
So the first part of this is pretty simple. Quite often, your company may provide you with links or information about them so that you can comprehend what it is they do. However, I strongly suggest you go full google detective on them. Knowledge is power. The more understanding you have on what your company does as well as the environment they tend to portray/foster ie. relaxed, high pressure, formal etc, the easier you’ll feel.
Brush up on the Jargon
Write down 5 ways in which you can help drive the company forward
Read up on your seniors (Linkedin or a general google can really help)
Ask ALL the questions but make sure to take initiative!
As I’ve previously mentioned “Knowledge is Power” (this should be an intern’s mantra as well as The Boy Scout’s motto of “Be Prepared”). More often than not, the person in charge will appreciate your curiosity and want to produce work that meets their standards.
If I find something difficult to understand, speak up IMMEDIATELY!
Do more! Go beyond what they ask you to do by adding in extra information or do the task more than once to ensure quality.
Come up with 3 suggestions on how to improve what you’re working on.
Be the butterfly!
Self-confidence is necessary in much of one’s lifetime. It is a characteristic that allows you to gain momentum in your working life. It is crucial that you put yourself out there to become the best intern you can be. This includes socialising with colleagues on every level. By integrating yourself into the workplace it will leave a fantastic impression on your superiors who have influence on the future of your career.
Learn tidbits of information about each of your immediate colleagues.
Network with at least 3 colleagues (especially superiors)
If you can, help others complete their tasks (within reason!)
The thing to ultimately remember is that an internship is a gateway to both experience and a possible position. So whether your internship is paid or unpaid treat it as a permanent position! Not only will this help you to drive your productivity through the roof but it will also reflect how serious you are about wanting to work for the company or the position you are interning for.
**You will never hear me apologise for these terrible puns or word play!