How do I make an impact in my internship?
In my personal experience I would say there are three key ways that you can make a difference in your internship.
I personally had three different internships before my first job and they were all great experiences in different ways.
I've also helped train and mentor interns, so I've seen the employer perspective as well. These are my three key breakthroughs that I think contribute to an impactful internship.
Full disclosure I never looked as sharp as Neil Patrick Harris. That being said -
IMPACT IDEA #1
Have a great attitude.
We all want to work with people who have a can-do attitude. As a new hire or intern we all start out doing menial tasks to help others and gain some experience. Embrace that role. People that are self motivated, work while they're in the office, and smile when they work tend to be pretty rare.
That's not to say there will never be stressful times, there will be, but be somebody who believes that in the end things are achievable and you're going to do your best in any situation.
Even as a new hire attitudes are contagious. That's a big benefit to the office. Seriously, this can't be understated. Attitudes both good and bad are highly contagious. If you come into the office and have a good attitude each day, it will rub off on those around you.
You don't have to be Kenneth from 30 Rock I wouldn't recommend going that far but you do need to come in with a great attitude it makes a big impact.
IMPACT IDEA #2
Take on a special project. This could be a long term task that management has put on the backburner for years, it could be organizing the office library, it could be updating company standards, could be drafting company details. Try to find something that could use some love that contributes to the overall well being of the office. Doing something like that can help get you noticed and help your contributions last beyond your short window as an intern.
If someone doesn't al ready give you an idea for a topic, ask around. Chances are somebody has a long term task on their radar that could use some help.
IMPACT IDEA #3
Chart your experience as an intern or new hire. Chances are your company may not have great records of what their interns have accomplished. For an employer, having some fresh marketing material about what their most recent intern did all summer is a great way to encourage hiring interns in the future, but also for them to market how they as a company support quality internships. In each of my internships I turned in basically a white paper at the end of the summer charting the different projects, tasks, and takeaways that I learned. Each time it was very well received.
Just because you are an intern an at the bottom of the proverbial totem pole doesn't mean that you can make a positive impact in a short amount of time. Go make it happen!
I'm Joe Meyer, this is MeyerFire University.
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