Interns: Here’s How to Stand Out, Be Productive, and Learn a Ton (According to an Intern Mentor)

Alyssa Greenfield
Interns: Here’s How to Stand Out, Be Productive, and Learn a Ton (According to an Intern Mentor)
Sponsored by, OppenheimerFunds

Alyssa Bryant knows how to be a stand-out intern for two reasons:

  1. She joined OppenheimerFunds not long after graduating from college, so past internship experiences are still fresh in her mind.
  2. She’s now an intern mentor herself.

When Alyssa, a Learning and Development Analyst, was nominated by a colleague to participate in the mentorship program at OppenheimerFunds, she jumped on the opportunity to help her company’s newest team members succeed. As Alyssa puts it, she wanted to make sure all interns learned “the stuff they don’t teach you in college.”

So what are Alyssa’s top tips for students on being a stand-out intern? Read on to find out:

Take Ownership Over Your Internship

As an intern, you’re there to learn as much as possible and get as much experience as you can in a short amount of time. You’re not going to know everything about the company (or your job as an intern) when you walk in the door, and that’s a good thing. Seek out new opportunities to learn and grow instead of waiting for the work to come to you. If you do that, your passion and dedication will be clear.

Work Deliberately

Of course you want to make an amazing impression during your internship, but be careful not to let the quality of your work suffer in the process. Obviously, you don’t want to sit around waiting for your next assignment says Alyssa, but you also don’t want to rush through a project just to check it off your list. Finding that balance is key.

Don’t Pretend to Know the Jargon

At OppenheimerFunds, there can be a lot of industry jargon to decode, but that’s not something unique to financial services—it’s the case in almost every industry out there. Instead of assuming you know what people are talking about when they discuss… say… beta-one investments (or investments that move with the market), do your research. Keep a running list of the terms you don’t know so you can brush up before it gets brought up again. If you still don’t understand after researching, ask! And whatever you do, don’t pretend to know what a term means.

Be Open to Feedback

Who doesn’t love being told they did a great job on a project? The thing is, you’ll learn much more from the things you could have done better. As tough as it can be to hear, asking your internship manager how you can improve is one of the best things you can do for your personal and professional development. Plus, your manager will appreciate your commitment to learning and growing.

As a mentor to OppenheimerFunds interns, Alyssa isn’t just imparting great advice—she says she’s learned a lot from the interns she’s worked with, too.