Building for future success: top tips for beginning an internship

EXAMS ARE OVER! Big sigh on my count: 1… 2… 3…. AHHH.

reese witherspoon we did it
Uni’s out and it’s time to take that first baby step into the scary, working world.

So after countless interviews during the term, you’ve finally grabbed yourself that internship you fought so hard for. But of course, it doesn’t end there.

You’ve already managed to make a great impression during your interview, but can you impress your employer beyond expectations when you’re there?

Here are some words of wisdom from a newly appointed intern’s perspective for making a great impact from the get-go:

Show up on time. Try to show up 15 minutes before your supervisor asks you to come in. This gives you enough time to get slightly more familiar with your surroundings.

And don’t give into the temptation of leaving the office bang on 5pm! Your manager won’t be impressed if you’ve already packed up 5 minutes before the clock just so that you can jet off home.

Be a sponge. Get that pad and pen and get ready to soak up as much information as possible. 

During meetings, listening is more important than speaking. But don’t be afraid to use your voice when you think it really counts. Pay attention to how much each colleague prefers to contribute, the company’s brand style and voice, and anything else you need to know.

What are you good at? Personally, having done a science degree, I haven’t been able to apply my lab skills (clearly…) in a tech startup. But that doesn’t mean my skills are going to waste.

The Excel skills I’ve used in my degree have proven to be very useful in developing our information systems. Use your unique skills to amaze your team and make a real impact on the business itself.

“Use your unique skills to amaze your team

and make a real impact on the business itself”

Immerse yourself in the office culture. Believe it or not, Friday’s trivia nights and the odd ping pong tournament helps you establish good relationships with your colleagues.

These team building exercises can prove to be invaluable to uniting coworkers and boosting team morale. Be sure to take part!

Listen to your colleagues’ advice. Your colleagues have been around for a while. Be sure to ask them for some quick tips, like how to best format that Excel task in a style that your manager likes most.

(… Or even a cheeky question about where the best sushi shop is!)

Don’t be afraid to ask. It’ll be difficult jumping from the typical go-to-class-and-take-notes mindset to a real, working environment.

Your manager will definitely be throwing a lot of information at you at the beginning. Yes, they’re fully aware that they’re doing this; but don’t fret. If you drop the ball once or twice, just ask them to go through it again slowly, and clarify any tasks you’re unclear about.

An intern that asks loads of questions exhibits critical-thinking skills which are highly sought after.

Meet regularly with your supervisor. It’s important to keep them updated on how you’re doing, which tasks you’re struggling with and, in general, anything else you might be worried about.


Do you feel like we’ve missed any important points? Let us know in the comment section below!

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