4 Tips for Leaving a Lasting Impression at Your Summer Internship
Internships are valuable experiences for high school and college students alike, as they allow them to gain real-world experience while exploring their interests. Simply getting a behind-the-scenes look at a potential career path can be highly informative for students choosing college majors or considering which courses to enroll in. There are only a few more weeks left for students to make the most of their internships – and make an impact!
It’s important for students to make the most of their internships so that they can learn as much as they can and leave on a high note when it’s time to return to school at the end of the summer. Since many companies work with multiple interns throughout the year, being memorable is key for both college and high school students. Internship supervisors can pen letters of recommendation for students submitting college applications, and serve as a reference for future job opportunities and interviews. Making a good impression is also important as it gives students the opportunity to develop skills that will serve them well in college and the real world, including communication, networking, developing mentor relationships, and more.
If you’re interning this summer and want to ensure that you make an impact during your experience and leave a positive, lasting impression, here’s what to do as you enter the last few weeks of your internship.
Turn “Mistakes” Into Growth Opportunities
It’s normal for small slip-ups to happen, especially during the first few weeks at a new internship. Instead of dwelling on these incidents and allowing mistakes to take a toll on your confidence, strive to learn from each one. For example, if you’re prone to “careless” mistakes such as typos or incorrect formatting, prioritize rereading and editing your work. Internships are learning processes; show your supervisor you are eager to grow by addressing initial areas of weakness or uncertainty.
As you get comfortable with your day-to-day tasks, start looking for additional projects or opportunities that connect to your role. The most memorable interns are students who strive to go above and beyond a company’s defined set of responsibilities and apply what they have learned to take their work to the next level. If you are struggling to think of additional projects or ways to expand your skill set, discuss opportunities with your supervisor during your next check-in or evaluation.
Ask For Feedback
It’s impossible to improve without constructive criticism, so don’t be afraid to seek out feedback. If you haven’t checked in with your supervisor yet, consider reaching out to him or her to schedule a time to do so. Seeking feedback demonstrates that you are engaged and eager to improve. Soak up as much information as possible from your evaluation and apply any suggestions you receive immediately.
Maintain a “First Day” Attitude
Think back to your first day at your internship. Most interns strive to make a promising initial impression by dressing professionally, arriving early, and asking thoughtful questions. As the summer progresses, some students start to let these good habits fall by the wayside. It’s normal (and healthy) to feel comfortable at your internship, but do not let settling in turn into complacency. Maintaining professional habits throughout the course of your internship is essential, so approach your last day with the same level of care as you did the first time you walked through your company’s door.
There’s still a lot of time this summer in order to make a positive impact and lasting impression at your internship. Maintain a good attitude, be proactive, and find news ways to improve every day!
In addition to interning, summer is the perfect time to prepare and plan for the school year ahead. Download our free College Planning Checklist below to get ahead with your college prep this summer and fall!