Nine Keys to Succeeding in Your Internship

Be accountable

  • Arrive on time and communicate if you’re going to be late
  • Follow the company break schedule
  • Complete your tasks by their deadlines
  • Follow up on things to which you have committed

Approach all tasks with a positive and eager mindset

  • Complete all tasks with enthusiasm—even some of the less-than-exciting tasks an intern may be called upon to do.

Follow common workplace expectations

  • Follow dress codes
  • Be aware of expectations for use of headphones – typically frowned upon in corporate settings
  • When in doubt about an office policy, ask.

Network

  • Use your time at your host company to meet as many people as possible and learn what they do.

Build a relationship with your supervisor

  • If your supervisor doesn’t set up a meeting with you, ask for time to meet.
  • Ask for feedback from your supervisor to make sure you are on the right track.
  • Share your own goals for your internship so s/he knows what you would like to learn.

Set up strong organizational systems

  • Get familiar with the email, phone and other communications systems, such as Slack.
  • Keep your calendar up to date and check it regularly.
  • Keep your email organized and respond promptly to messages.
  • Keep up-to-date lists of tasks and deadlines.

Managing up: Keeping your manager informed

  • Send updates to your manager when you’ve finished projects or to inform them of your status
  • If you anticipate challenges completing a certain task/meeting a deadline, communicate in advance of the deadline
  • Communicate when you have downtime
  • Be proactive- if you anticipate downtime could come up again in the future, ask for examples of things you could be doing during this downtime.

Take Initiative

  • Ask for resources that will help you better understand the company and your team’s culture and goals. This will also help with any downtime you may experience.
  • Observe something that could potentially be done more efficiently and have an idea of a way to address it? Share the idea with your supervisor.
  • If you have any free time in the day and, or you can plan in advance, arrange to shadow a colleague to learn about a new task.

Follow email communication best practices

  • Email is formal communication within the workplace – use appropriate subject lines, greetings and sign-offs.
  • Use a businesslike tone.
  • Proofread your email before you send it.
  • Emails live forever on the computer network. Never send anything you wouldn’t want your supervisor to read and share.

Read more in Bottom Line’s full Guide to a Successful Internship:

Project Onramp is ready to break down barriers and speed our students to success—while helping our member companies build our statewide labor pool, boost diversity, and prevent possible labor shortages.

Come be a part of our winning team!

  • PROGRAM CONTACT:
  • Lila Neel
  • lila@lifesciencecares.org

Learn about sponsoring internships:

3 + 13 =