1. Talk to People! Think of it like this, you’re taking a test and it’s open book. All of the staff have the answers that you need to pass your test. You just have to talk to them. Talk to them and you will learn everything you need to know.
2. Be Friendly! Smile when you pass people. Take every opportunity to start up a conversation. Make the most of every opportunity. Give compliments, be genuine, be friendly, and watch how many relationships you build.
3. Introduce Yourself! Don’t be a no-name. Always introduce yourself when speaking with someone and shake their hand. State your first and last name and let them know that you’re an intern. You may even share your school because it’s an easy conversation starter.
4. Remember Names! Repeat their name back while greeting them to ensure you remember their name. I’m more of a talker than a listener so it’s very easy for me to meet someone then walk right away and say “What was their name?” Don’t let that happen to you. You’ll meet lots of people so take a few times during the day to write their names down along with what they do. It’ll help you learn everyone’s names.
5. Be Helpful! Offer to help and show that you are eager to learn. Stay busy and jump in and do what you can. I recently read that a great phrase to use is “What can I do for you?” Try it and show yourself useful. Companies value people that are useful. Be of value.
6. Be Professional! Even if the work environment is somewhat relaxed you still need to dress professional. Don’t stoop to low standards. Always present yourself in a professional and respectful manner. Slacks and pencil skirts are always good choices. Don’t be too flashy, but be yourself. Be comfortable. Cardigans are also winners for girls. Also, no inappropriate jokes or comments. Keep everything professional.
7. Be Bold! You’re in a new environment so you may feel nervous, that’s normal, but you can’t stay fearful. Be bold and get out of your comfort zone. Stretch yourself so that you can grow. Be bold!
8. Ask Questions! Remember, you’re there to learn. They know you don’t know everything and they will admire you for seeking information and wanting to learn. If you don’t know something don’t pretend that you do know. Just say “What exactly is that?” Or, ask someone to teach you. Don’t be hard on yourself for not knowing everything. Get curious and ask questions.
9. Be Prompt! Always show up on time for your shift, for meetings, or any other events. Demonstrate that you are qualified by being prompt with your attendance or other deadlines for projects or assignments.
10. Be You! Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Don’t laugh at things that really make you uncomfortable. Don’t pretend you like something that you really don’t. Be respectful but also be genuine. Conform to the work environment but also be you. Don’t conceal your personality, just be you! Let your personality light shine! 🙂