Intern Series: Being the Best Intern Ever

Hi everyone!

Being a student at FIT has enabled me to work a variety of internships, which has truly enriched my understanding of the topics we cover in our classes. While internship are billed as a way for you to learn, they do not teach you in the conventional sense. The things you will learn might be more about how to function in an office, not so much about what you might learn in school.
Today I thought I would share my top tips for making a good impression during your time at a company!

Listen Carefully
When given a project, make sure to listen carefully and takes notes if you think you need to. Sometimes someone will come over with one simple project and then think of a third, so no matter how simple a task is it always helps to write everything down. Also, if later on they have a revision or a question about what they assigned, you’ll have a written record.

Be Neat and Respectful
As an intern, you are a temporary part of a company. Keep a tidy desk (as best you can- sometimes things really pile up!) and be polite. If your supervisor is busy, or seems focused on a project, try emailing them instead of interrupting to ask questions or to let them know you finished a project. It might seem strange to email someone you are sitting next to, but ultimately when you leave the company, you want to be remembered for your contributions and not your detractors. Also, when it is your last day, clean out your desk! Do not leave anything for them to clean up after you. I’ve seen other interns depart without completely finishing projects and cleaning up, and it does not leave a good impression on their supervisors.

All Projects are Important
No matter how small or large a project is, give it the same attention. Scanning samples might seem completely irrelevant, but sometimes it is a test to see how well you can complete a task. No company will onboard you and immediately give you massive projects without first seeing how you handle the small tasks. Do everything as if it is important, and bigger responsibilities will follow.

At the core of being a good intern is having an attitude of service. If you notice your boss always staples her documents and highlights the date, do this for her if she asks you to print something! Simple favors like this show you are paying attention to what they are doing, and are often met with increased mentorship and attention

Leave on Good Terms
No matter what your internship is like, you are likely to see the people you work with again. Keep any negative opinions you may have to yourself, and maintain a professional attitude in the office. Even the best of internships will have moments that will make you want to vent, but leave it until after you leave for the day.

Those are a few ways I like to optimize my time as an intern. Keep an open mind at an internship and pay attention, and you’ll do great!