So you got an internship now what?
First things first GOOD JOB- you are now an intern.
In Australia alone, over 70,000 people graduate from our univeristies every year and you just beat them all. You are the cream of the crop. You're the popular kid in class and all of the Fortune 500 want to be your best friend.
... WELL NOT REALLY
In reality, the chances are you just joined the company with a group of other interns who are just as keen as you are to get ahead and make a great impression.
But don't worry internships are easy.
Here are 3 easy ways on how to be a super star intern and make it look ... easy
1) Come prepared
No and I don't mean come to your first day with a list of 500 questions prepared and the history of the company memorised to a tee. Literally nobody in the world likes an over-zealous guy and it wont help you. Don't be that guy. That guy really sucks and you can be sure as hell that does not know how to be a super star intern.
By prepared I mean three things:
Bring your own notebook and pen
Your first couple days as an intern you literally are just sponge absorbing as much information as possible. Go and buy a nice moleskine and a pen from Officeworks or something. I would recommend the Uniball Jetstream- its the pen of champions.
Your manager will probably ask you to write some notes anyway so how much of a boss will you feel telling her/him that you already got this stuff covered.
Write down literally everything anyone says
That's why you have your sick-ass moleskin and pen! There are two reasons we write down everything.
Firstly, we're college students with horrible attention spans. How much do you think you will actually remember in your head? Are you god-damn Mike Ross from Suits? No. Write stuff down.
Secondly, it shows that you are paying attention to your colleagues and have an intention to follow up with any tasks or queries afterwards. Everybody wants a little a love and just having this information will give you the edge you need to beat the other non-notes writing interns.
I would actually write notes on the computer as well
It definitely looks classier to have write notes in the moleskine... but yeah its not the 1950s. Use note-taking software like Evernote to organise your thoughts and have it easy to access and searchable when you need it most.
2) Be the first to arrive and last to leave
Let's be honest here - you're an intern and you probably don't actually have that much to do yet.
But impressions will and always matter and something can always be said for the dedication and effort it takes to consistently be the first person in and the last person out.
Hopefully you actually find some things to do, but when your first starting the internship the early mornings and late nights is some of the best times you can to build some great relationships with your team and bond away from the busy-ness which is the normal 9-5.
3) Find a pain in the organisation and capitalise on it
On your first day, you need to scope out your organisation and find some PAIN immediately and make it your sole goal in life to solve it. It doesn't even have to be a ground breaking pain - the aim here is to establish yourself to the organisation as a problem solver and an overall useful person.
This is so important - it doesn't matter what it is but you better have had something attributed to your name when you finish your internship. You can literally be the guy who ran a company fun-run that one time but dont be the guy who did nothing.
Here are some easy ways to get a good project:
Coordinate a group project with the other interns
We have all been to uni and have felt the pain of a group project. They suck and nobody likes them. But I personally LOVE ME SOME GROUP PROJECTS and here's why: You can stand out!
Lead a group project for anything, organise some meetings and get some creativity flowing.
Remember to pick the interns who aren't necesarily smarter than you, but work hard and you can get along with. I'll write something later on how to pick the right people.
Straight up ask your manager
Nah you don't actually have to sound like every leading man in every rom-com but for sure if you want an easy way to find something you can contribute with and stand out, this is definitely the best way.
ASK FOR A PROJECT and if there isn't something exactly offered for you, at the very least you have a chance to probe and figure out something which is really hurting the organisation.
And once you have the pain, solve it and you'll be one step closer in being the super star intern.