March 14, 2006

How To Become A Successful Intern

I have had the privilege of interning at a great company for almost a year now and I have learned several valuable pieces of information. Along with learning skills that pertain to my job tasks, I have learned professional skills that will most benefit me in the future.

My internship experience has been successful this far and I hope to continue learning and "soaking" in everything I can. In fact, I have listed many successful attributes of an intern that have helped me thus far.

How To Become A Successful Intern…

1. Always be willing to take on new projects, the "Yes I Can" attitude
  • *This allows you the opportunity to show your skills and build TRUST with your co-workers
  • *Every new project teaches you something new and this broadens your skill set
  • *Even if the project is tedious, do it. After all you have to earn your position

2. Challenge Yourself to NO end

  • *Step out of your comfort zone
  • *Network with your co-workers, introduce yourself, find out what they are working on
  • *Finish projects fast and accurately, then ask for more work

3. Ask questions, Be curious

  • *If you are unsure of something, ask for clarification
  • *Make sure you know what needs to get done and when
  • *Ask questions about your department and the overall business

4. Communicate with your team

  • Always follow up on emails and tasks
  • *Keep your managers informed on your progress with current tasks
  • *Let your team know of any hardships you are facing, perhaps they will have a suggestion

5. Do not be afraid to fail

  • *As an intern you will make mistakes, but take responsibility and learn from it
  • *Do not failure hold you back from challenging yourself
  • *Remember that as an intern you are not expected to know everything, so make an effort to learn

6. Prioritize Your Work

  • *Be careful you do not miss deadlines, so prioritize your tasks so you do not fall behind
  • *Ask your managers to help you with this..."What is most important?"
  • *Set your own deadlines/timelines for completion of tasks (preferably 1 day before the actual due date)

7. Find a Mentor who is willing to help your career growth, perhaps the most benefical learning experience

  • *LEARN everything you can from this person
  • *Use this mentor as a resource for questions and learning new skills
  • *Refer to your mentor for advice (especially during hardships)

8. Figure out how you can ADD VALUE to your team

  • *What does your team need? Figure that out, and make it happen
  • *Exceed expectations on your work, never just settle for the minimum
  • *Be an attention to details and exceed expectations


  • *Shine above everyone else
  • *Make your presence known
  • *Smile, dress professionally, and perform!

10. Be a human "sponge"

  • *Soak in all of the new skills and knowledge you are gaining
  • *LISTEN carefully to your coworkers, mentors, and managers...they ALL can teach you something
  • *Observe your team and company. How do they work together? What can be improved?

Internships are important since you are provided with the opportunity to learn and gain experience. Use this as an opportunity to explore and learn so you are prepared for the corporate world when you graduate. Make an effort to shine and constantly challenge yourselves.

Any questions, please let me know here or email me: