Be proactive, professional; Ritter’s tips to how to land your dream internship
Posted on Jul 26, 2012 in Features
So you landed your dream job or internship, go you! You’ve probably been working there for a few months and you could definitely see yourself going into that field, maybe even working for that company, but you want them to see you as more than the token intern. There’s nothing wrong with fetching coffee every once in awhile, but let’s face it, you don’t want to do that for the next 30 years. So, how do you network your way to the top?
Be professional. This may seem obvious, but it goes without saying that to get to the top, you have to separate your work and your social life. Don’t go to the office looking like you’re hungover and walking in in last night’s clubbing clothes. Get there a few minutes early, and stay there a little late. Oh, and please don’t talk about why your boyfriend’s tongue ring is so great.
Be proactive. Your supervisors don’t want to see you sitting around the office on Facebook, and you should never say “I have nothing to do.” If this is the situation, go to different departments and see what they need done. At my internship, there have been days when I’ll volunteer to work in marketing, events, editorials or do random things around the office. I promise, any task, whether it’s as small as making copies or as big as managing a project, will go noticed.
Ask for an evaluation from your boss or supervisor. Say to them, “Hey___, I really enjoy my position as a(n) ___ at the company, but I was wondering if you had a few minutes to discuss my progress and any ways that I can improve.” It can be intimidating, but getting a critique from your supervisor may bring attention to things you may not even realize you were doing. Also, when they see that you went out of your way to handle a situation, they’ll be impressed by your maturity and devotion to the company.
Bring fresh, new ideas to the table. Your company hired you for a reason, it’s ‘cause they know you’re a smart cookie! Even if you’re working as a server in a restaurant, you probably have ideas for how to get orders in faster or maybe even a new recipe for the chef to sample. No idea is dumb, so give your input! No president, athlete or artist got where they are by playing it safe. They pushed the envelope, so try it out and see what happens. Oh, and when you get your big promotion, I’ll let you buy me a drink.