How to Stand Out as an Intern

Tips For Standing Out As An Intern

Ask the right questions

Now, no question as an intern is a stupid question. And you should always ask for help or guidance as you need it. But to really stand out, it’s great to ask the questions that perhaps people working there long-term might have asked once. Some examples could be about how to navigate a certain software or program or how their specific processes work. Make sure you’re asking necessary questions.

Be proactive

This could be part of you asking questions. If you complete a task you were given, ask what’s next, avoid sitting around and waiting. Once you get a hang of a few key tasks and responsibilities do them without asking!

Dress well

If you want to be memorable in a good way, dress well. Always show up in appropriate work attire. It’s great to show a positive image of being put together and professional. On that note, avoid showing up unkept, this can leave a negative impression of disorganization and carelessness.

Be a little early every day

Being that little bit early and getting a start on the day before others shows your enthusiasm. It can also be a characteristic of determination and general gratitude and appreciation for your role. It won’t go unnoticed that you are making an effort to get on top of your day and put in just a small amount of extra time.

Be polite and nice, don’t get caught up in gossip

This one should be easy. Be nice to people. Be polite, listen, have a chat, get to know people, smile! Don’t get dragged into any workplace drama as it could end up looking bad for you. It also is a huge distraction from the actual work you’re there to do and learn from so if you get caught up in the gossip you may leave the opposite of a good impression. 

Find a mentor

This point is not only useful to stand out, it will be useful in so many other ways. Finding a mentor can be incredibly helpful in the learning stages of your career. Not only is it great networking, it could open more opportunities but it means you will be able to take valuable insights with you on the rest of your working journey. People like to share words of wisdom and feel like they can help someone else, so it won’t hurt to ask someone about their time at the company and their career thus far. This shows a willingness to learn as well as respect for people with more experience.

Ask for feedback

Not many people like hearing feedback which means they don’t always ask for it! If you ask for feedback, you’ll definitely stand out. Listen and take it on board, it can only help you improve and make an even better impression in the future.

Don’t be afraid to share ideas

If you’re part of a meeting, brainstorm or you generally think of a good idea to do with the work you’re assigned, don’t be afraid to share it! You may not have a movie moment where everyone loves your idea and runs with it… but you will prove yourself as someone who can assert themselves, who can innovate and share ideas and who cares enough to get involved. Who knows, maybe your idea could make a big impact!

Treat it like a real job

Show up every day with the attitude of ‘this is my job!’. When you treat your internship seriously, your superiors will notice, when you don’t, they’ll definitely notice this too. The people you work with don’t want you not to try. An internship is an opportunity to learn, to find your footing in the professional world and to put to use all the skills you have. What’s the point if you don’t treat it seriously?

Be open to learning and guidance

Lastly, and most obviously, be open to learning and hearing different ways to do things! Nobody likes someone who think they know it all, let alone an intern who thinks they have it all figured out. Nobody has it all figured out! We all learn every day, whether we are an intern or a CEO. If you keep it humble, people around you will appreciate that and be happy to teach you what they know.

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