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Dear Interns: 7 Things You Can Do Now to Get the Most Later

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Your fall internship. The first day is just around the corner. You’ll be gaining hands-on experience, building a wow-worthy resume, and impressing future references with your can-do attitude. As you settle into your new internship position, keep in mind these must-do’s so that your part-time co-op is laying the perfect foundation for that future full-time job.

    Meet people, ask questions. In real estate, it’s location, location, location. With your internships and career, it’s network, network, network. Attend that after-work function, even if it means taking a later train home.

    Make friends with your boss’s assistant, your peers, the project manager, the IT guy (and connect with them on LinkedIn). References and connections come in all shapes and sizes, with many companies now asking for peer-to-peer and reporting team members as references.

    Approach a potential mentor within your first few weeks. It doesn’t have to be your boss. Maybe the former amazing intern who landed a job after school and is now an assistant manager?

    Go the extra mile. Always said, not always done. Come in early, stay late, and pitch in for fellow coworkers, too, not just your supervisor.

    Line up references before you leave. Grab coffee with – or at a minimum, email – your future references so your work is fresh in their minds before your last day. Another pro tip? Stay in touch with them throughout your next internship or job search.

    Number everything. Work with your internship supervisor to quantify your contributions. You didn’t just “manage customer database,” you “segmented customer database of 600K+ records to increase business leads by 8%.”

    Take note of your weekly internship's assignments, responsibilities, and accomplishments as they happen. Your future resume-writing self will thank you.

Photo credit: Intel Free Press