interns working on a project

Your first internship is an exciting stepping stone in your professional career! Making an internship a positive experience by working hard and taking on new learning opportunities will help you excel. Not only will hard work benefit your career, but will also be noticed by the managers you are working for. Who knows, maybe you’ll be offered a full-time position down the road. You never want to burn bridges with any professional connection you make. Check out our 5 great tips to help you become the standout intern!

 Do Your Homework

You most likely already know a lot about the company and position you’re walking into since you prepared yourself for an interview already. The night before your first day, you should still refresh your memory and check out Glassdoor for more information about working at the organization. By being more prepared, you’ll feel more comfortable and less nervous on your first day. Your homework should also include preparing an outfit! You never want to walk into a professional environment with wrinkled or untidy clothing. Scrambling the morning of your first day to find an outfit and get your belongings together isn’t the best start. Be sure that you wake up with plenty of time to relax before running out the door. You’ll feel more settled when starting to work.


Open communication is important during any part of your professional career. It’s important to speak to your manager or whoever you report to on a regular basis. Before, during, and after the internship you should voice your learning objectives and touch base as the internship progresses. If you feel that your needs aren’t being met, address those concerns. An internship is a learning experience and you should be getting what you were told out of it. If your internship isn’t following the job description, voice it. Advocating for yourself isn’t easy, especially in your first internship, but it’s extremely important. You’ll need to advocate for yourself throughout your career!

 Go Above and Beyond

With little job experience, you may not know how to do all the tasks you are given. It’s always okay to ask questions, but if you can answer the question by taking the time to research and figure out the details on your own, do so. Your manager will certainly appreciate your independence and efforts if you don’t reach out to them every minute with a question. If you’re confused by instructions or what you’re being asked to do, ask. A manager would rather you understand than waste time doing a task incorrectly.

When tasks are complete, always ask for more. This shows you are reliable, proactive, and hardworking. Striving to learn more not only helps you add more to your skillset but shows your manager that you’re dedicated and passionate. Sitting around after getting your assigned tasks finished and not asking for more, only hurts you. Go above and beyond the minimum!

 Get to Know Your Team

Though you’re an intern, you’re still a part of the organization! It’s a great idea to get to know everyone you’re working with. Making connections is important when it comes to excelling in your career. You never know what someone can do for you and who they may now. Not only does getting to know your coworkers create connections, but it also makes you memorable. When they’re looking to hire someone in the future, you may just come to mind!

 Ask for Feedback

It’s important to ask for feedback when you’re catching up with your manager on a regular basis. This shows them that you’re taking initiative and are serious about succeeding and being a valuable asset to the company. Getting feedback early on before habits settle can really help kick-start your career in a positive direction. It’s also an opportunity to learn that constructive criticism isn’t meant to hurt you, but make you a better professional. It takes time to adjust to criticism.

The work you put into your career will be what you get out of it. If you’re working hard, taking on new tasks, and not letting an hour go to waste, you’re surely a standout intern. We hope these tips help you find success in your first internship and beyond!