There are few things more stressful than the job application process. Between re-editing your resume and the hours spent prepping for interviews, the job hunt can take its toll.
The good news? If you’ve already gone through that process for landing an internship, you may be able to avoid repeating it. Many internships have a full-time offer waiting on the other end, so make sure to follow these guidelines during your internship to better your chances.
1. Master the Basics
There are several habits that are considered good practice that you should always keep in mind while in the professional world. Looking presentable, staying punctual and maintaining a positive attitude goes a long way in the workplace. Even if they seem trivial, these habits are extremely important in establishing yourself as a potential future employee.
• Look presentable: You could spend hours perfecting a project, but if you turn it in wearing stained or inappropriate clothes, it won’t matter. Make sure to put in the same care and effort into your outfits as you put into your work. Let’s face it – nobody wants to hire a slob. (Need help figuring out what to wear? Check out our guide to The Intern Dress Code).
• Stay punctual: Showing up on time every day not only shows that you care about your internship, but also that you’re dependable. It’s easy to let a few minutes slide every now and then, but be careful. Those few minutes can easily snowball into a serious problem with punctuality.
• Maintain a positive attitude: No matter what you might be dealing with outside of the office, don’t let it affect your attitude at work. Consistently coming in with a negative and sour disposition can quickly tarnish the way your co-workers and employers see you.
2. Take Initiative
Never settle for doing the bare minimum. If you have ideas or suggestions on how to improve your company, don’t be afraid to speak up! Pitch that new project you’ve been thinking about to your superior(s) or speak up in a meeting when appropriate.
Regardless of brainstorming new ideas, you can always take initiative with your assigned tasks. The difference between being a good intern and a great one is asking for more work instead of sitting idly by. Taking initiative shows you not only care about the company, but you’re willing to go above and beyond what is expected of you which is the mark of a great employee.
3. Adapt to New Situations
In any industry, especially finance, flexibility is one of the main keys to success. As an intern, your daily tasks can change in an instant as your department’s needs fluctuate. Even if you are asked to start a new project while the middle of working on another one, stay calm and view it as an opportunity to flex both your adaptability and organizational skills.
Your adaptability will help to show that you are dependable, even in the face of chaos, and that you have a good sense of prioritizing and balancing responsibilities.
4. Be Memorable – In a Good Way
At the end of an internship, one of the best things you can hope for is to set the standard for all the interns that follow you. In order to leave a lasting impression, ensure the quality of your work is at the same level as full-time employees. Every task, no matter the scope, should be executed with the same energy and diligence as the others.
If you love the work you’re doing as an intern and feel you fit well in the company’s culture, don’t waste an opportunity to turn your temporary position into a permanent one. Focus on producing high-quality work and before you know it, your superiors will start seeing you as an indispensable member of the team.