Seven Ways to Stand Out During an Internship

March 9, 2021

Contributed by Alexia Huggins | University Relations & Summer Internship Program Manager, Walgreens Corporation

How do you ensure that you make your mark and become an intern that shines, even in a virtual world?

When taking on an internship, it’s easy to blend into the background—and it’s especially easy while being virtual. Daily tasks aside, many interns face the unique challenge of maintaining a memorable presence with their employer. After all, the objective of the internship is to gain job experience and to develop relationships within your chosen field, which will hopefully lead to landing a permanent role with the company following graduation. However, this only can happen if an intern makes an impactful and memorable impression.

So, how do you ensure that you become a stand-out intern? Read on to discover seven ways you can bring unique value and make a lasting impression during your internship.

1. Arrive prepared

Before you begin your internship, show initiative by contacting your manager to ask if there’s anything you can do to prepare for your first day. There may be a project you can get a head start on, a topic to research or a skill to brush up on. Taking initiative will show your manager that you are an intern that takes your new position seriously and you’re willing to go the extra mile.

2. Get dressed

Whether your internship is in-person or remote, it is important to dress appropriately for the position. Prior to your first day, contact your recruiter or manager to understand the company culture and dress code so that you show up dressed to impress. Even if you are working virtually, getting dressed for the day helps boost your self-esteem—even if you are the only person to see it. Plus, if you have to meet with your team or clients at a moment’s notice, you will be ready to go.

3. Get to know your manager

Every manager has a specific work style and flow. It is important to get to know their ways of working so you can better assist with project demands, positioning yourself as an invaluable asset to the team. Bonus tip: Show you are invested in your experience by being proactive and asking for performance feedback along the way.

4. When your tasks are complete, ask for more

Once your daily task list is complete, don’t just sit around! Ask for more projects and seek out ways you can serve the needs of your team or company. Showing that you have completed tasks is great. Showing that you’re ready to tackle more is even better.

5. Don’t act like an intern; become part of the team

Rather than “acting like an intern” and calling it a day when your task list is complete, approach the position like it’s your actual job. Take time to develop a rapport with those you frequently work with and show that you are a team player. After all, for the time you are working there, you are a part of the team!

6. Network, network, network

Just because you’re an intern doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to know everyone. In fact, it means you should get to know everyone! Talk to all employees that work at the company, both in and out of your department. Your internship is a great opportunity to get to know people in your industry, so use this unique time to make professional connections for the future.

7. Take every task seriously—no matter how small

Accept every task with pride and diligence and avoid complaining. Your manager will notice if you take work seriously and do your work well. Most likely, the smaller tasks will lead to larger ones, and you will find yourself moving
up the ladder in no time!

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