Top Tips to Help You Stand Out as an Intern

Top Tips to Help You Stand Out as an Intern
Written by Cher Zavala

Before you walk in the door of the company you’re interning at, you should have already spent considerable time preparing for the role.

One of the best ways to not only get experience and knowledge about a new career direction, but to also get yourself in front of business owners, managers, and recruiters, is to become an intern. Whether you find yourself an intern role that is paid or unpaid, spending some time learning the ins and outs of an industry and a specific business can do wonders for your career.
If you’d like to eventually parlay your internship into a job though, it’s important to stand out from the crowd in every way you can and really impress everyone you deal with. Read on for some tips you can follow today that every intern must know if they want to kick some internship goals.


Before you walk in the door of the company you’re interning at, you should have already spent considerable time preparing for the role. It’s important that you be very familiar with the company you’ll be working for if you want to impress.

It pays to know:

The firm’s history and culture and its industry
The main products or services the venture sells
The key team involved – particularly the people you will be working closing with

It is worthwhile setting up a Google Alert too so that you can be notified of pertinent news about the company in the weeks leading up to your internship.

In addition, make sure you read through the position description of the internship multiple times before your first day. This will help you to be clear on what you will be doing and what’s most important for the position.

Don’t be afraid to contact the person who hired you to ask if there is anything in particular they would like you to do in preparation for your internship. There may be certain skills you can brush up on or research or other projects you can learn about or begin before you walk in the door.

Present Yourself Well

Presentation is also key in the workplace; just as much in an internship as it is a typical new job. The old saying of “dress for success” is a cliché for a reason – it works. You should always present yourself professionally so that you can make a good impression from day one, and then keep it up.

Before you start work, it pays to speak to the person who hired you, or your direct supervisor, about what the office environment is like and what the standard dress code is. If in doubt, it’s much better to dress more formally than to arrive looking too casual.

Keep in mind too that dressing well in the workplace will not only help you to impress the people around you, but it can also help you to feel more accomplished and confident in your role, which in turn can help you to perform better. Dressing for success will help you to fit in better and to appear more experienced.

Take Initiative but Be Open to Learning Too

One of the best ways to stand out as an intern is to show the people you’re working with that you can take initiative and don’t always have to sit and wait to be given jobs to complete. Looking for tasks you can do without being told will show the team that you take the internship seriously, and that you’re someone who is always willing to go the extra mile in your work.
It works well if you show your interest in the role and the company by volunteering for tasks at every opportunity you can. You should take advantage of every chance to learn something new and meet another team member. Doing so will help you to not only impress the managers and other employees, but also give you more chance to learn important information and build up vital skills you can then use when you start applying for full-time jobs at a later date.

Treat It as a Real Job

You might be surprised by how many people apply for an internship, get the role, and then spend too much of their work day checking how many likes they have on Instagram or other social media sites, or otherwise neglecting their work.
If you want to make a good impression during your internship, you must take the role seriously and treat it in the same way you would if it was a “real” job. Be on time each day, don’t leave early, be friendly and polite to everyone, and show respect at all times.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

My main acceptance in life would be that “change” itself is a constant and regardless of opinion it is inevitable. Making peace with ones self and accepting the things we CANNOT change is key to living a full and happy life. Within those experiences we grow as people and learn.

2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I have learned to appreciate all of my imperfections as it makes me who I am as a person and in reality “perfection” is all up for interpretation. In return I have taught myself to replace the old methods in dealing with situations and problems with ones that will deliver or elicit positive responses and solutions.

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

I believe my core values or the personal rules I have set in place for myself and chose to live by have brought nothing but reward to my life as it has created my known presence to be one of value and those things remind me daily of my standards set if ever I were to steer off course.

4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?

Over analyzing every situation would definitely be a not-so-perfect quirk about myself, leading my mind to wander with thoughts of what-if’s, that usually are just that, “what-if’s”. Along with spontaneity and positivity it creates my not-so-perfect, but awesome self!! :)

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my positive outlook on life and the huge heart I carry with me daily filled with nothing but compassion for others and a willingness to always be learning something new.

About the author

Cher Zavala

Cher is a content coordinator who assists in contributing quality articles on various topics. In her free time she also enjoys hiking, traveling and getting to know the world around her. Cher has built up many strong relationships over the years within the blogging community and loves sharing her useful tips with others.

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