By Nareh Vartanian – Former Digital Marketing Intern
During your college years, it’s stressed about a million times how important it is to get an internship. If you’re lucky, they might even tell you how to get that internship. However, no one really tells you what to do once you get there. Getting your foot in the door is step one, but it’s the decisions you make during your experience that matter the most. After eight months of working at BCP as a digital marketing intern, I have learned some memorable lessons that I think everyone can benefit from. If you want to learn how to be a kick a** intern like me, then read along.
Don’t be afraid of being yourself
Show your personality to your colleagues because it’s the only way you’ll form a memorable connection with them. When you show them who you really are, you learn even more about each other’s working style and creative approach. They learn to trust you, your work ethic and your opinion. Putting yourself into your work (especially creative work) always makes the product 1,000 times better and it probably won’t put people to sleep.
However, this doesn’t mean you should act like you do with your friends on a Saturday night. Be yourself, but be professional.
The only way you’ll learn is by asking questions
Don’t ask every question that’s on your mind, just the right ones. Before you ask, make sure you’ve tried to problem-solve on your own (or at least Google it). When you ask the question, mention what you’ve already tried to show that you have made an effort. And remember, there are such things as stupid questions. (Usually it’s when you’ve already asked the same one 20 times. So write the answer down if you think you might forget.)
Honesty is the best policy
Be honest with your bosses about your workload and abilities. They can tell from a mile away if you’re making excuses about a project that didn’t get done. I’m almost certain they’ll be more mad at the fact that you’re lying than the fact that the project is incomplete.
A tip to consider is giving daily updates at the end of the work day. Let them know what you got done and what you didn’t have time to get to but that you plan on doing tomorrow. It shows responsibility and crafts that trust you want to gain.
Take the unexpected initiative
Once you finish your work, ask what else you can do to help. If you predict your team’s needs and bring their anticipated thoughts to the table, then they’ll definitely be impressed by you. Don’t stop there, either. Offer to take other projects off their to-do list. You should never be able to say that there’s nothing for you to do. Odds are there’s always something that your team needs more help with.
You’re not “just an intern”
Tell yourself that you are an integral part of the team, because you are. They hired you because they need an intern. They need the extra help. If you act and dress like any other employee, it’ll show your work ethic, maturity and the amount of responsibility you can handle. It will show that you care about your own professional image and that you can represent the company well. It may even open up some doors for a job opportunity after your internship if over.
In the end, you have to make the most of the experience and job you’ve been offered. The place where you intern wants to see you grow and learn, so take advantage of that opportunity as much as you can, and be kick a** while doing it.