How to Make a Big Impact and Impress Your Boss as an Intern
As of right now, I am not a content and social media intern. I’m a permanent content marketing executive! How’s that for impact? I was offered this job towards the end of my internship and couldn’t be happier.
Now that I’ve got this experience under my belt, I think I’m qualified to tell you how to make a big impact as an intern. Let’s start at the beginning.
1 – Before You Start
Before your first day at your internship you should probably prepare. This is crucial to having an impact because you need to make a great first impression. The more you know about the company and the people that you’re about to work for, the better. Make sure to research:
- The company: try to know everything that you can before your first day.
- Your job: what exactly are you doing again?
- Your boss: use LinkedIn and Twitter for some good old fashioned stalking. You know you want to.
Induction and on-boarding can sometimes take days, but as an intern you probably only have a few weeks to make an impact before your contract is up. By taking the time to do some research, your first day will be easier. There will be less admin info to soak up and more real work to do.
2 – During Your Internship
The success of your internship depends on a lot of things: the company, your role, the team and yourself. By making sure to use every second of your time productively, you could help tip the scales in your favour. Here are my tips:
Know What You Need
Are there any specific skills or programmes that you need for your dream role? Take a look at some job adverts and get to thinking because your internship is the perfect time to learn. As you go about your day keep in mind the top things you need to learn for your career.
I wanted to do a lot of things, but two big ones were to learn about SEO and MailChimp. When these were mentioned in the morning meeting one day I asked to get involved.
Make a List
Unless your manager loves to micromanage, you’re probably going to spend a lot of time working alone. This means that you need to know what you have to do every day. Make a list and stick to it.
And by stick to it – I mean it! If that means that you have to work for an extra hour to cross off all of your tasks, why not? Unless you’ve got major plans, staying to do a little unpaid work will only work in your favour – just make sure you’re not being taken advantage of.
By finishing off your tasks every day, you show your enthusiasm, dedication and independence.
Be a Sponge
Especially at the start of your internship, be sure to be present. Soak it all in. The people that you’re working with are (hopefully) successful, insightful and intelligent. They’re your mentors, even if they don’t know it yet.
So listen to what everyone has to say – this goes for other interns, too. Soak in all of that knowledge to use later in your career.
Just say ‘Yes!’
Anyone want to do this task? ‘Yes, I’ll do it!’
Make the most out of your time and volunteer for every job. This will diversify your skills and show your co-workers that you’re happy to get stuck in and help.
But if you say you’ll do something, make sure you actually go through with it. Turn in work a few days early and stay motivated. If you do this enough, your colleagues will think of you and say – ‘Yes, Daisy. She’ll get it done.’
Your time shouldn’t be all work no play though. Dedicate some time to having actually conversations with your team. This means approaching them outside of meetings and starting a conversation.
If your co-workers start to like you as a person, they will undoubtedly want to work with you long term.
It’s easy to get lost in the 9-5. But a good way to keep track of everything you’re doing and learning is to write it all down.
3 – After Your Internship
Hopefully by the end of your time as an intern you will have made a really great impact. Who knows, you might even be offered an extension or a permanent role!
But if you have to part ways with your team, make sure you stay in touch. Send a warm thank you email on your last day and really end on a positive note.
Connect on LinkedIn and send an email to your favourite colleagues every now and then. Internships aren’t just about job offers. They’re about people.
Looking for your next internship? Sign up to DigitalGrads. We work with companies to give amazing tech and media internship opportunities to talented graduates across the UK. Take a look at our jobs board today!
If you’ve been looking for an internship and haven’t had any luck, check out this article for advice on taking a break and starting over.