We all know that internships are great resume-builders, but it’s equally as important to build successful relationships with those that you work with. This means going above and beyond other interns to make a lasting impression. You will see this pay off when it comes to requesting letters of recommendation, needing references, and so much more in the future. Here are seven simple but important pieces of advice to live by during your internship.

1) First to arrive, last to leave

When you are the first to arrive to your workplace and the last to checkout, it will not go unnoticed. Don’t feel the need to overwork yourself, but show your supervisor that you’re dedicated to your work by spending quality time on your work.

2) Appreciate the small tasks

Keep in mind that everyone has to start somewhere. Small tasks like making copies may seem insignificant, but should still be appreciated. Once you have excelled at even the smallest assignments, you will gain trust from your supervisor and provided with larger assignments.

3) Communicate expectations with your supervisor

Let your supervisor know that you’re taking this internship seriously. Day by day, you should be effectively communicating with your supervisor about what you wish to gain from this internship. Let them know what goals you want to accomplish, no matter how small.

4) Express ideas

Your ideas will go to waste if you keep them to yourself. Don’t feel like you’re limited to a list given to you by your supervisor. If you see an opportunity for yourself and the organization, confront your supervisor about it. Initiative is impressive and appreciated. Do keep in mind to be respectful of your supervisor’s time, however.

5) Meet with coworkers

If you look up to a coworker in your workplace, don’t hesitate to ask them to get coffee or lunch in the near future. This may seem unnatural, but it is actually very normal in work environments. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and gain advice from others in your career field.

6) Lose the intern mentality

Are you afraid to ask questions or express your ideas because you’re “only an intern?” You will not have room to grow if you’re stuck in this mentality – get rid of it. Your workplace took a risk by hiring you and your thoughts and ideas are valuable. Know your boundaries while not being hesitant to go above and beyond basic intern duties.

7) Show Gratitude

It is vital to let those within your workplace know that you appreciate their willingness to have you on the team. Before you leave, make sure to write thank you notes to those you worked with closely during your time there. Include a message that will help them remember you. Communicate to these people that although your internship is coming to an end, you would like to stay in touch.

Internships can be gateways to jobs. Remind yourself each day that these relationships are important to maintain. Standing out in a sea of interns can be difficult, but is completely possible. 

Jennifer D.
Jennifer Duplessie is a senior at Texas A&M University pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in political communications incorporating her passion for writing and photography.

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