Being an intern in Washington DC, can be highly competitive, and at times you may feel as if you are lost in the masses. But if you keep your focus and follow these helpful hints you will have no problem distinguishing yourself from the rest.
• Always put forth your best effort and have a positive attitude– Being a driven and hardworking intern is one of the best ways to gain praise in the office. True dedication to your job will not go unnoticed. Despite the long hours and sometimes tedious tasks that may arise, accomplishing your assignments and being helpful to your coworkers will go a long way.
• Communicate with your supervisor– Regularly update your supervisor on the progress of your work. Ask if he or she prefers email updates or face-to-face meetings, and always ask for feedback on your performance. Make sure to take your supervisors suggestions seriously. Don’t wait until the end of the summer to find out what they think.
• Take advantage of ALL learning opportunities– Exuding a know-it-all mentality is a recipe for disaster. Although you are a capable individual, there is always more to learn. Opportunities to gain knowledge and experience will present themselves on a daily basis. Embracing and even seeking out these occasions is one of the best ways to excel.
• Act professionally both in and out of the office, AND online– make sure to arrive at work on time and dressed in accordance with the office policy. Be mindful of your social media posts as well as your behavior and attire when attending social events with your coworkers. Always act in a dignified manner because you are never truly off the clock.
• Find a mentor– It can prove very helpful and comforting to have a trusted confidant in the office. This person may be someone other than your direct supervisor, who can help you to work through uncertainties and develop professionally.
• Never stop networking– Professional relationship building is essential. Treat everyone you meet with respect; you never know who you will do business with down the road. Be sure to keep in touch with internship supervisors and coworkers because the combination of a great work ethic and a broad network of professional contacts will open doors for future opportunities.