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What Makes You the Best Intern

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

Internships are great, but they aren't always what secures the next step, aka the job. Here's some helpful tips; whether this is your first internship or your 5th , these could help you land that dream position.

Be Prepared, for Anything

The first step to being the best intern you could be is to always be prepared. Make sure you always have a pen, notebook, and some water. Triple checking that your phone is on silent or "Do Not Disturb". Sounds kinda basic right? But most of the time, we take it too lax or we get too comfortable with our position as an intern that we overlook the small details that could change an impression of you in the work space. Remember, you're always being evaluated.

Moments are Brief, Patterns are Forever

Consistently coming in 15 minutes before your shift, always asking if others need anything, staying after hours to ensure the quality of your work. All of these are patterns that people notice in the work place. This proves that if an inconsistency were to arise, ex. you were late to work because you got a flat tire on the way to your shift, people would be lead to assume that there's something wrong and are more willing to accommodate you. Compared to if the same situation happened, but you were constantly showing up to work 5-10 minutes late, you'd most likely be getting a strike on your record.


One word, but worth so much value. Being attentive starts with being interested. If you are sincerely interested in your company/position/career, you'd understand the value of being an intern and what that position can potentially hold. Sure, it may seem redundant and not the most glamorous job, but you get to learn the in's & out's of a company.

Be Professional

Most people say, "Dress for Success", in an intern setting, being professional is the equivalent. How so? Dress up your e-mails/resumes/cover letters. Make sure your grammar and punctuation are correct. Capitalize appropriate words in your sentences, you'd be surprised how many e-mails I've received from intern applicants who would send in resumes without writing a professional correspondence. Small practices like these show companies that you are serious about the work and that you are prepared to represent them in a positive manner. *Side tip, don't copy and paste from a google image you saw online. Utilize resources like your college's career center or even YouTube to find ways to use the appropriate templates for your resumes.

Always Ask

Last but not least, always ask if there's something else that's needed to be done. Not only does this show that you are looking to go above and beyond, but it also indicates that you are interested in handling more responsibility. If your supervisor/manager notices that you can create quality work and that you are able to manage employee work loads, it gives you a higher chance and more incentive for them to move you up. Also, it shows that you are a team player and are willing to go the extra mile to help the team/company as a whole.

Bonus Tip: Be Honest

Not only in a business but in an interpersonal way as well. If this particular internship doesn't seem to suit you, be honest with yourself and let your manager know. Maybe the company is perfect but the sector you applied for no longer interests you, bring it up to your manager to see if there's any other learning opportunities in the other factions of the company or if there is a way for you to transfer to your newly desired division. Got a taste of the company and no longer feel like it's a good match? Have a one-on-one with your supervisor and let them know how you feel (professionally, of course). They'll appreciate your honesty and will be glad to know where you stand.

Photos/Graphics featured by NEU.WAV TEAM (Tyler Chow, Photo 1 & Jenell Paraiso, Graphic 2)

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