Working on an internship placement is an important step at the beginning of a great career, it’s vital you make a good impression during your internship. By standing out as an intern, you increase your chances of being permanently hired at the end of the placement.
Impressing your colleagues and managers during your internship is especially important as the job market is very competitive. There is a steady influx of students and recent graduates trying to secure the best internships and entry-level positions, so standing out among your peers is the key to success.
Standing out on an internship placement takes a positive and professional attitude. You must show initiative and be proactive about rising to meet whatever challenges you face. You will need to demonstrate a range of soft skills such as effective communication that allow you to work harmoniously with other people, as well as commit time and effort into developing your technical skills.
All of these aspects show hiring managers and executives that you are the sort of character they want on their team helping to drive the company forward.
Here we look closer at certain attributes and behaviours you will need to stand out as an intern in a competitive job market.
Research the Company
Avoid arriving on your first day armed with only rudimentary knowledge about the company. Instead, engage in thorough research about the firm and the industry it navigates. Immerse yourself in understanding the company’s values, goals, as well as its offerings—be they products or services.
Show your passion and enthusiasm for the company by gaining an insight into its target market and customer demographics. This comprehensive preparation will not only demonstrate your initiative and interest but will also equip you to make an impactful first impression.
Reliability might not be the most glamorous trait, yet it undeniably stands out to employers. Punctuality is crucial; always strive to arrive on time, which could entail planning for early arrival, particularly when reliant on public transportation.
Consistently meet your deadlines and set expectations, and ensure that the quality of your work remains high. Being perceived as reliable can pave the way for increased responsibility and broader opportunities, as it instils trust and confidence in your abilities.
Delivering high-quality work inherently involves a clear comprehension of your assigned tasks. This necessitates active inquiry and seeking clarifications whenever something is not entirely clear. Effective communication forms the cornerstone of a well-functioning team, so ensure your interaction with colleagues and managers is precise and comprehensive.
It’s crucial to remember that one of the most essential communication skills is active listening, enabling you to absorb feedback and instructions meticulously. By adopting these habits, you contribute positively to your team and enhance your work performance.
It’s vital to remember that asking questions is not only acceptable but encouraged, especially when you are new and still learning. You should never feel that inquiring or seeking clarification is a hindrance. This is a time for absorbing as much information as possible, and the people around you are there to assist you in doing just that. Embrace this opportunity to learn, knowing that curiosity and engagement are key components to your successful integration into a new environment.
Take the Initiative and Be Proactive
Taking the initiative implies acting independently without explicit directives, while proactivity refers to pre-emptively addressing potential issues. For an intern navigating a new workspace, this involves proactively seeking opportunities to shoulder new projects and responsibilities.
Don’t hesitate to offer your unique perspective and innovative ideas. Your fresh insights can contribute to problem-solving strategies or process improvement. Embracing such a proactive and initiative-taking approach can significantly enhance your value within the organisation.
If you are a student or recent graduate looking to stand out in an internship placement or in a short-term placement or full-time permanent position, then get in touch with Step today to access a diverse and inclusive outcome-focused range of internships and placements, as well as graduate jobs across a range of industries!