- Maintain a positive, eager-to-learn attitude. Ask questions. Show that you want to learn the job and learn the company. Strike a balance between asking enough questions to show your desire to learn and pestering people with so many queries that you become annoying. Ask if there are any training programs, seminars, or workshops you could attend to increase your learning, and hence, your value to the employer. Look for opportunities to attend trade shows and industry meetings.
- Develop your skills. Learn unfamiliar software programs. Try projects that help you to hone skills you’ve never used or don’t use often. Observe the skills used by people in the kinds of positions in which you envision yourself working, and polish those skills. The wider your range of skills, the more valuable you will be to the employer. On the other hand, Allyson Quibell, writing for WetFeet.com, suggests that you choose just a couple of skills to focus on so that you develop those skills to their fullest.
- Feel free to be creative and bring your ideas to the table. “If you have an idea and you feel there is something that could be done differently, you need to have the courage to put forward your argument,” writes Ann Berry on the former Securities Institute Website. “Nine times out of 10, people are receptive. It’s good to show that you can learn, but also that you can add value.”
- Track your contributions and accomplishments. Be sure to keep a record of all the ways you’ve contributed during your internship. be prepared to present this list when you make your pitch to the employer for a permanent job. For more about tracking accomplishments, see our article, For Job-Hunting Success: Track and Leverage Your Accomplishments and our Accomplishments Worksheet.