Students are very well-acquainted with the stress that accompanies the search for summer internships. There’s the sense of urgency to find a position, the hours of endless resume submissions, and of course, the waiting. It is easy to forget that after finally receiving an offer, the process isn’t over. One of the most important benefits of having an internship is a recommendation that will follow you into a real life career. In order to ensure that you’ll have a great recommendation when applying for full-time jobs, keep these tips in mind during your time as a summer intern.
1. Don’t Be Late!
Being late is possibly the worst thing you can do as an intern (besides falling asleep at your desk). As an intern, you do not have the luxury of being five minutes late. In fact, you don’t even have the luxury of being on time. If work starts at nine, get there at 8:45. By showing that you are eager to come in and get started, you are also demonstrating dedication and commitment to working hard that will translate to your future employers. Being late may imply disrespect and indicate that you are not taking your position seriously.
2. Work Thoroughly and Efficiently
Even if your position is unpaid, the harder you work, the more likely you are to receive a good recommendation from your supervisor. Most intern work can be a bit dry, but if you dedicate your time to thoroughly completing your task, the people you work with will notice. Efficiency is a skill that will set you apart from your fellow interns. The more you focus on a task or project, the faster it will get done and the more efficient you will become. Something as simple as a spreadsheet might take a lot of time, but always think about what you can do to make it move faster (like copying and pasting instead of typing). By submitting work on time, your employer will know you can be trusted with time-sensitive responsibilities.
3. Have a Positive Attitude
Maybe this internship wasn’t your first choice. Or maybe you think the work you are doing requires little more than the intelligence level of a monkey. Whatever your internship is like, it is crucial to have a positive attitude. Your boss tells you to fill out a table of numbers that will take you all day? GREAT. And if that sounds like the most boring task you’ve ever been assigned, fake it until you make it. Your attitude will help foster better relationships with other employees in the company who can write you recommendations as well. An excited and positive intern can rejuvenate the office. And who knows? You might even end up faking yourself out and enjoying it.
As long as you stick to these tips throughout the summer, there is a high chance your supervisor will be impressed and remember it whilst writing a recommendation. Not only are these tips helpful for starting your career, but they might just land you a promotion down the road.