You Only Intern Once: How to Stand Out in the Second Half of Your Internship|
Congratulations, accomplished go-getters – you have made it to the mid point of your summer internships! The coffee runs, painfully early meetings, and successful networking events have earned you much-deserved praise.
However, the summer doesn’t stop here– not just yet. You have a month or so left to effectively spend that time stepping up your game. It’s time to show those employers your masterful skills and all that you are capable of!
I know most of you have thought ahead about what you can do to make the most of your experience (and stand out), but have you devised your plan for the second half of the summer? If not, have no fear!
The following five strategic moves go hand in hand with one another to help make you that superstar intern that you aspire to be! It’s as easy as that. So take The Levo League’s advice and prepare to make your mark.
Five Ways to Make Your Mark as an Unforgettably Awesome Intern
1. Compose a Progress Report
Why continue to wrack your brain logging an up to date record of all of your completed tasks and accomplishments when you can simply pop open a word document and add it to a polished list in a matter of moments? I don’t know about you, but I find the mental cacheing to be too strenuous of a mental workout– that’s what Sudoku is for, after all.
This internship report will not only serve as a trophy of your diligent dedication – this list will come in hand when you ask your boss for an evaluation during your date (I’ll get to that shortly). Due to your extensive list of incredible achievements, you may be a little overwhelmed or perplexed about where to start. If so, use NYU’s Gallatin School’s internship progress report to get the ball rolling. Now, let’s eliminate your mental, possibly disturbing, image of a candlelit dinner with your boss.
2. Ask Your Boss Out
No candles, no appetizers, no chardonnay – stick to a casual outing to the local coffee shop. Wo-man up, and finally ask your most senior employer to share a cup of coffee – YOIO (you only intern once)! You’ve been holding back for quite some time, so now is the time to eliminate all intimidation and propose that you two visit the closest Starbucks. Depending on the size of your company – startup or colossal organization – in order to not waste his/her time, know your availability prior to asking him/her out and then promptly schedule your meeting with your boss or their personal assistant. Avoid being bashful – show your boss just how ambitious you are by having already prepared a list of questions you wish to ask him/her. As Leslie Zaikis, the “Business Development Guru” at L(L), enlightened, “every senior person wants to mentor the young enthusiastic high performing intern so embrace your youth and ask away.” And most importantly, be yourself – you will gain a greater deal of valuable insight and will cultivate a stronger bond.
PS: Don’t forget your progress report – ask for that evaluation!
3. Identify Room for Improvement (Yours)
Skills, skills, skills! If you’re the go-getter we know you are, the number of tasks you have completed at your internship are countless. So track what you’re doing the best at. You are probably becoming aware of whether you rock at problem solving or need to work on your time management– acknowledge these growth areas, and cultivate a personal plan of action to improve your weak areas.
How can you do this? First, create a method for logging achievements and lessons learned. Organize it by date, add it your progress report, create a spreadsheet, jot it down on paper – do whatever you feel is most helpful. Prior to upcoming projects, identify opportunities to enhance your skills, match the areas of opportunity with your areas for improvement, devise a plan, and implement it.
4. Plan an Intern Outing
Time to network! During your next lunch break, suggest that you and your fellow interns get together after or during the upcoming weekend. Whether it’s hitting up your favorite happy hour or going out for a nice dinner, you are building personal connections with others who share similar interests. Cultivate friendships and don’t view the other interns as competition– after all you are working together to enhance your organization and its product.
5. Plan Your Next Internship (or Full-Time Offer)
Well, maybe not literally– unless your boss-date went that well. If you didn’t secure an internship (or offer!) for next summer (or Fall!) over coffee, begin to research upcoming internship opportunities and/or reflect upon your experience thus far at your current internship. Ask yourself whether or not you could see yourself there next summer. If so, continue to go the extra mile and show your employer how passionate you are about the company. If not, speak to your more experienced and seasoned colleagues and ask for suggestions of other companies based upon your evaluation of your experience. Don’t hesitate to make the effort!
The clock is ticking and the summer is coming to an end, so good luck and make the most of your internship!
Blair Claflin, Levo League Intern Extraordinaire