Internships have become a crucial component of the college experience and early career-building endeavors, and the first step toward a fulfilling career is often to impress your internship supervisor. But how, exactly, can you do so? Here are five ways to catch his or her attention:
1. Go above and beyond
It need not be said that unless your supervisor asks you to perform a task that is dangerous or illegal, you should do it, and do it well. But if you truly wish to impress your supervisor, aim to do more than asked. Contribute to the company in a way that highlights your skills—perhaps you are a talented writer, so you decide to take on tasks that showcase your writing abilities. Perhaps you have a content marketing idea that you feel strongly about. Share it at the next meeting that you attend, or with your supervisor directly. In short, do whatever you can to exhibit your talents and ideas.
2. Look and act the part
Professionalism is essential in every industry. If you would like your supervisor to take you seriously, dress appropriately for the environment you are in—whether that means business formal or a provided uniform. Acting professionally is also important. This means interacting with others politely and monitoring your social media pages, among other actions. Yes, your supervisor may look at your Facebook page, so ensure there is nothing on it that you would not want him or her to see.
3. Ask for advice
Few people know your supervisor better than the individuals who work with or for him or her. Do not be afraid to ask company employees appropriate questions about your supervisor—for instance, what he or she looks for in submitted work, and what may impress him or her the most. It can also help to directly ask your supervisor for advice about your internship and future career. This will show that you value his or her opinion and are serious about this opportunity.
4. Show an interest
It is likewise important to indicate that you have an interest in the company itself. Ask your supervisor and coworkers questions about the company to show that you are genuinely interested in the business. Stay engaged the entire time that you are present, and if you do not have a task to work on, find one. Finally, attend company events, even if they are not required.
5. Stay in touch
Impressing your supervisor does not end when your internship ends. Your internship supervisor can be an important contact in your burgeoning career, so it is important to remain in touch. Start with a handwritten thank you note after your internship ends, and follow up with an email. Send emails periodically, or consider meeting your former supervisor for lunch or coffee.
The most important advice to keep in mind is to showcase the best features of yourself. Show your supervisor that you are talented, professional, and committed to your internship and industry, and he or she is sure to be impressed.
Catherine Martin is a contributing writer for UniversityTutor.com, the world’s largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors.