During your time in college, you will most likely have a few internships under your belt. When I meet with employers, they often talk about the work interns accomplish and the impact students make on their organization. While each employer is different, here are some things to keep in mind at your next internship.
Admit mistakes. You know the saying, “Honesty is the best policy.” In this case, it’s true. Admit when you do something wrong, don’t blame others. Don’t pretend to know how to do something, when you really don’t.
Strike a balance. You need to understand what’s going on around you before you start making suggestions. New students should not tell employees what to do. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have an opinion, you just need to make sure you listen before you give your perspective.
Don’t lack professionalism. While you should feel comfortable, don’t get lazy. No matter what the atmosphere of the company, remember it’s still a job. Arrive for work on time, dressed appropriately. Don’t text friends, surf the web, play video games, sleep at your desk. I know it sounds crazy, but it happens.
Communication skills are very important. Ask clear, concise questions. Show that you want to learn and you have passion for the job. Don’t pretend that you know everything, it’s okay to ask for advice.
You might find that your internship wasn’t what you expected. Take advantage of what you learned. What did you like about the job? What was missing? Build upon the skills you already have and keep an open mind when looking for the next job.