Career Resources

Friday, June 25, 2010

Interns: What to do after the coffee run

Maybe your internship requires that you get the morning coffee for the team, or maybe it doesn't. If it does, make sure that you perform this task well and with a smile, and remember: fetching coffee for your co-workers IS NOT BENEATH YOU. While I'm on this subject, neither is photocopying, filing or answering the phones. If you can do even these menial tasks with a positive attitude, you'll be viewed as a team player who will do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Everything you do during an internship will be closely monitored by your supervisors, partly to determine if you're doing your job well and partly to determine if you would be the type of person they would like to work with on a permanent basis. Remember: an internship is a "summer-long interview" so you need to be on your best behavior at all times. Here are ten sure fire tips for making the most of your summer internship and increase your chances of landing a full-time job offer.

1. Make sure you understand what the company's policy is regarding internet, social media (e.g. Facebook) and cell phone usage.
2. Don't sit at your desk with nothing to do; be proactive in seeking out assignments.
3. Try to find ways you can solve a problem, make an impact or produce measurable accomplishments.
4. Don't be afraid to ask questions; it's better to ask a question than to do something wrong. Employers expect that interns will ask questions.
5. Be friendly to everyone in the office and offer to help people whenever the opportunity presents itself.
6. Conduct informational interviews with employees in the company who are doing the jobs that you would like to do.
7. Don't get involved in office politics or gossip.
8. Ask for an evaluation of your performance/reference at the end of your internship.
9. Update your resume while your internship is fresh in your mind.
10. Connect with your supervisor/co-workers on LinkedIn and stay in touch with them throughout the academic year.

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