1. Get involved
If they have quirky work rules/events, get involved. My work has monthly dress theme days – last month was Onesie Day and you bet I got into that one! Before that my job had Formal Tuesday, We Wear Pink on Wednesdays and casual Fridays. It lets you become a better part of the workplace culture and is usually a good conversation starter.
2. Don’t act like an intern
Now, this is a tricky one. As you are not an actual employee at the company you may not have ongoing projects and tasks. If you find yourself sitting without work, don’t sit there and scroll down your Insta feed till someone gets to you, try find work for yourself. If you’re not able to find work, ask if you can observe someone else doing a task you want to learn. Make yourself seem engaged and interested in the work. This shows that you’re keen to be a part of the team and care about your experience there.
3. Ask Questions
This is important, you want to show them that you are interested in more than just checking emails. Always ask for context when given any task, told to write a PR release for an event? Ask in depth questions about the event, if they’ve been part of the event before, have they written a similar release before, do they have a template? Similarly, ask other employees questions about their roles, their experience at the company, how you can possibly get a permanent role here after interning.
4. Always get feedback
At the end of each task, ask for someone to review your work and possibly if you can watch them do it. Its best to learn from mistakes and this way you can learn the right way to do things by watching them go through your work. This also doesn’t mean that you keep asking them to review every small action you take; but definitely at the end of your work day, ask if there was anything you should have done differently.
5. Keep a notebook
Get one of those A5 notebooks, use a new page for every task, every day. No one expects you to remember what you did on each day but keeping a notebook is an easy way to keep track of all the things you’ve learnt at your internship. This is also a great way to keep track of your progress/contribution to the company, so if you’re negotiating a position after your internship, you have written summaries of what you’ve been doing all this time.
6. Have lunch with the team
Try not to have lunch by yourself or take breaks alone, go out to get a coffee with someone else in the team and sit in the office with your food and chat to everyone else having lunch. Breaks are the best time to make friends at the office as people stop thinking about work and you can actually talk about interests and hobbies.
7. Be professional
This goes without saying – portray the best image of yourself. Go to Friday drinks, have a few with the team, but don’t drink too much and start slurring in front of your supervisor. Wear work appropriate clothes to work, not all workplaces require business formal, but definitely feel the vibe at work before you turn up in ripped jeans. But remember, don’t be a robot, have genuine conversations and let your personality shine.